Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 14)

Russian landing ship Tsezar Kunikov and her escort TCSG-93 making a southbound passage through Istanbul.

Russian landing ship Tsezar Kunikov and her escort TCSG-93 making a southbound passage through Istanbul.

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Vologda-50 making a southbound passge through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Vologda-50 making a southbound passge through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Russian Ropucha class landing ship Alexander Otrakovski returned from her Syrian deploymenyt. Photo: Alper Böler.

Russian Ropucha class landing ship Alexander Otrakovski returned from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Alper Böler.

Ropucha class landing ship Minks returned from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Serhat Güvenç.

Ropucha class landing ship Minks returned from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Serhat Güvenç.

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Divitsa-50 going to Syria. Photo: Alper Böler.

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Divitsa-50 going to Syria. Photo: Alper Böler.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Lest We Forget: TCG Dumlupınar

On 4 April 1953, in the wee hours of the morning two Turkish submarines  TCG Dumlupınar and her sister boat TCG 1. İnönü,entered from the Aegean into the Dardanelles Strait, as the returning from the NATO naval exercise Blue Sea.

The Commodore of First Submarine Squadron was in command of the two submarines and he was on board of TCG Dumlupınar. When the submarine reached the Cape Nara, the narrowest point of the Strait the Swedish flagged cargo ship M/V Naboland collided with the submarine. The accident happened at 02:15 in the morning.

M/V Naboland rammed TCG Dumlupınar from starboard forecastle just aft of the forward diving planes. The submarine rolled to port with force of the impact and sunk immediately. 5 submariners who were in the sail at the time of the collision survived. Rest of the crew, 81 men, were trapped inside her hull. She sunk at the narrowest point of Dardanelles at 85 meters.

22 sailors trapped in the aft torpedo compartment were able to release the submarine’s sunk buoy. The rescuers above the water tried to give hope and moral but time was an enemy. Submarine rescue and salvage ships were rushed from the main naval base in Gölcük after the incident. But all efforts to reach the submarine and rescue the survivors failed cause of very strong water currents and insufficient equipment.

The last words from the submarine, before the currents tore the cable of buoy were: For our country.

Since that fateful day, on every 4th of April we remember those that have a watery grave were no rose will grow.

Port Visits of Turkish Warships During The Weekend

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TCG Salihreis arriving in Varna, Bulgaria. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev.

The Deniz Yıldızı 2016 naval exercise continues in Black Sea. According to Turkish General Staff, 25 warships and submarine plus 11 aircraft and helicopter takes part in the exercise.

As reported earlier, over the weekend the ships conducted port visits in many cities both in country and abroad. Here is the list of the ships and the ports they have visited during the weekend:

Name Type City Country
TCG Karayel Fast attack craft Varna Bulgaria
TCG Kemalreis Frigate Varna Bulgaria
TCG Kilimli Patrol boat Varna Bulgaria
TCG Yavuz Frigate Batumi Georgia
TCG Heybeliada Corvette Constanta Romania
TCG Kılıç Fast attack craft Constanta Romania
TCG Giresun Frigate Constanta Romania
TCG Ayvalık Mine hunter Amasra Turkey
TCG Yüzbaşı İhsan Tulunay Auxiliary İnebolu Turkey
TCG İmbat Fast attack craft İnebolu Turkey
TCG Turgutreis Frigate İnebolu Turkey
TCG Karadeniz Ereğli Patrol boat Kefken Turkey
TCG Akar Auxiliary Samsun Turkey
TCG Tufan Fast attack craft Samsun Turkey
TCG Barbaros Frigate Samsun Turkey
TCG Ertuğrul Landing ship Samsun Turkey
TCG Büyükada Corvette Sinop Turkey
TCG Göksu Frigate Zonguldak Turkey
TCG Bartın Corvette Odessa Ukraine
TCG Salihreis Frigate Odessa Ukraine

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 13)

An empty Ropuch raturnd from Syrian deployment. Tsezar Kunikov making a northbound passage. Photo: Aşkın Eyüboğlu

An empty Ropucha returns from Syrian deployment. Tsezar Kunikov making a northbound passage. Photo: Aşkın Eyüboğlu

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Romanian Border Police vessel MAI-1104 making a southbound deployment probably for a Frontex mission somewhere in the Aegean. Photo: Alper Böler.

The fully loaded Russian landing ship Alexander Otrakovsky, heading to Mediterranean.

The fully loaded Russian landing ship Alexander Otrakovski, heading to Mediterranean.

Canadian frigate Fredericton making a night time northbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Canadian frigate Fredericton making a night-time northbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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Serpukhov is heading to Eastern Mediterranean, where her sister Zeleny Dol is also deployed. It is not clear whether Serpukhov is going to replace the other or supplement.

The second Buyan-M class corvette of Russian Black Sea Fleet, Serpukhov, making her southbound passage through Istanbul.

The second Buyan-M class corvette of Russian Black Sea Fleet Serpukhov, making her southbound passage through Istanbul.

Ropucha class landing ship Minsk heading to Syria. Photo: Alper Böler.

Ropucha class landing ship Minsk heading to Syria. Photo: Alper Böler.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Romania Is Set To Modernize Its Frigates

Romanian frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand on her way to home. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

Romanian frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand on her way to home. A 2012 photo by Kerim Bozkurt.

Romania has officially started the modernization process of her 2 Type-22 frigates on 16 March 2016.

Like Bulgaria, Romania too needed modern, up to date and NATO compatible warships when both countries joined NATO. While Bulgaria opted to buy second hand frigates and mine hunter from Belgium, Romania bought two Type-22 frigates from Great Britain in 2003.

The frigates ROS Regina Maria (ex London) and ROS Regele Ferdinand (ex Coventry) were overhauled in UK before their delivery to Romania. They were transferred armed with only guns and torpedoes The frigates lack long-range offensive weapons and adequate air defence systems. The new contract will allow this deficiencies to be fixed. The vaule of the contract is estimared by Romanian MoD at 839 million Lei, without VAT  aproximatel Euro 190 million.

According to the published information the modernization will be done in Romania. The frigates will be fitted with anti ship missiles, anti air missiles and guns or short range missiles for self protection. And all of these new weapons and sensors will be integrated to the combat information system.

According to a press MapN Wednesday, the procedure for the award of the contract is “restricted procedure”, organized under the Emergency Ordinance no. 114/2011 regarding the award of certain public contracts in the fields of defense and security.

Through this contract, the frigates “King Ferdinand” and “Queen Mary” will be equipped with anti-aircraft missile, rocket antinavă and gun systems and / or missile for missile defense antinavă, and sensors with superior performance (radar, electronooptici and towed sonar). They will be integrated into a computerized system of Fight Management, Modern, which will enable it to perform the full range of specific missions frigates.

Modernization of vessels will be made compulsorily in Romania, as a requirement of security of supply, according to art. 1 para. (1) and art. 50 of GEO. 114/2011, in conjunction with art. 346 par. (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union it is approved by CSAT memorandum entitled: multiannual program “multipurpose frigate – the second stage of modernization”.

Bulgaria Plans To Buy 2 New Warships In 6 Years Time

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Bulgarian frigate Verni. She is nearing her obsolescence. Here is a photo of her from 5 years ago

According to Sofia News Agency, Bulgarian defence minister Nikolay Nenchev announced that Bulgaria was planing to spend up to $477.80 million to procure two multi purpose warships.

The procurement cost, which comprises armaments, equipment and communication systems for the ships, could be one-third lower if the vessels were built in Bulgaria, Nenchev said during a visit to the Black Sea city of Varna on Thursday, according to a statement of the Defence Ministry.

“Within three-and-a half to six years the Navy will have two completed vessels,” Nenchev said.
The project will be submitted to Parliament in the next few days and the lawmakers are expected to approve it by the end of May, Nenchev added.
Preliminary talks have already been held with EU and NATO member states about potential acquisition of patrol ships, according to the statement.

It is the high time for Bulgaria to invest in new warships to protect her interests in the Black Sea.

The Bulgarian Navy has terminated its submarine service after 94 years and decommissioned her sole submarine in 2011. The 3 Wielingen class frigates and one Tripartite class mine hunter all bought from Belgium are the only new warships commissioned into naval service since the end of the Cold War. Thus around the year 2022 when the above mentioned two new warships are commissioned, the 3 Wielingen frigates Drazki, Verni and Gordi will be almost 45 years old.

I do not think Turkey’s burgeoning naval ship building industry despite its close geographical location will have much chance to win the bid for these ships. French, Dutch or German companies may have an advantage here.

Deniz Yıldızı 2016 Naval Exercise Started In Black Sea

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TCG Tekirdağ

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TCG Karamürselbey

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TCG İmbat

The annual naval exercise Deniz Yıldızı (Sea Star) has started in Black Sea today. The exercise will end on 5th April 2016.

The scope of the exercise shows that Turkish Navy intends to show a strong presence in the Black Sea. According to Turkish Navy website There will be live firings against high-speed airborne and seaborne targets. For me the most noteworthy aspect of this exercise will be the simultaneous port visits of Turkish naval units in Varna, Constanta, Odessa and Batumi. 4 out of 5 Black Sea nations will be visited on the next week-end on 3rd and 4th April 2016 by various Turkish warships. This is an impressive way of showing the flag, an important message.

The following ships along with two submarines were observed making a northbound passage through Bosphorus in the last couple days:

Number Name Type
S-XXX TCG Submarine
S-XXX TCG Submarine
P-337 TCG İmbat
P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ
M-262 TCG Enez Mine hunter
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Mine hunter
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Mine hunter
L-401 TCG Ertuğrul Landing ship
NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey Landing ship

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 12)

Epron

The Black Sea Fleet’s salvage vessel Epron has completed her taks of supervising the acceptance test of India’s first SSBN Arihant and returned home.

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Russian landing ship Saratov made a southbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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Russian landing ship Minsk returning from Syria. From the outside she does not seem to have any cargo on board. Photo: Alper Böler.

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Russian Ropucha class warship Alexander Otrakovski returning from Syria. She seems to be heavier than Minsk. They both passed in tandem through Istanbul. Photo: Alper Böler.

Russian warship Tsezar Kunikov making her southbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Russian warship Tsezar Kunikov making her southbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus in 2016 (Part 11)

Russian Alligator class landing ship Saratov returns from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Alper Böler.

Russian Alligator class landing ship Saratov returns from her Syrian deployment. Photo: Alper Böler.

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Auxiliary cargo ship Dvinitsa-50 returning from Syria. Photo: Yörük Işık.

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Romanian mine sweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu returned back to her base after taking part in Greek led mine warfare exercise Ariadne. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Yauza

Russian auxiliary cargo ship Yauza making a southbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Alper Böler.

Well it was a slow week. Only 4 foreign warships have been spotted.

The list of the foreign warships passed through Istanbul Strait is here.

18th March 2016 Naval Parade

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TCG Nusret, the replica of the Ottoman mine layer Nusret. She took part in the naval parade too. She is a commissioned ship in Turkish Navy.

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TCG Amasra, having the Commodore on board, formed the lead section of the parade with TCG Nusret and TCG Akçakoca.

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TCG Akçakoca

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TCG Anafartalar, was one of the two submarines in the parade.

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TCG Gür

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TCG Salihreis, led the frigates and corvettes section.

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TCG Göksu

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TCG Büyükada.

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TCG Bartın

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TCG Mızrak, led the patrol boat section of the parade.

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TCG Atak

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TCG Tuzla

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TCG Karabiga

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TCSG-94. She and her sister TCSG-91 were part of the patrol boat section.

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TCSG-91

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TCG Akçay. She was open to public visit.

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TCG Oruçreis. Like the mine hunter TCG Akçay she was too open for public visit. It must be a nice diversification from SNMG-2 duties in Northern Aegean.

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This is one of the several coast guard boats, that provided close security during the ceremonies.

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TCSG-23 was another coast guard boat that provided close security during the naval parade.

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TCB-70 was the lead helicopter of the 3 units strong naval aviation display.

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TCB-65

TCB59

TCB-59

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Turkish Coast Guard’s aviation branch send a 3 helicopter strong detachment for the commemorations. This is TCGS-504

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TCSG-505

TCSG502

TCSG-502

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Turkish Stars, the air display team of Turkish Airforce showed their skills. The display was not visible from where I was standing. But I have managed to take a photo one of the planes as they were leaving.

Like in previous years, on 18th March 2016, Turkish Navy organised a Naval Parade in Çanakkale Strait to commemorate Turkish Victory over the Allied Armada 101 years ago.

6 Navy and Coast Guard helicopters, 3 maritime patrol planes and 6 Army helicopters took part in a fly over. And the Turkish Stars, the aerobatics demonstration team of the Turkish Air Force made a display. The focal point of the commemorations was the Çanakkale Martyrs’ Memorial, was off the limit for me. But I was never the less able to take photos of the warships taking part in the parade, Coast Guard Boats, providing security and ships that were open for public.

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