>Noble Manta 2010 Has Ended

>Every good thing must come to an end. So did NATO’s biggest ASW exercise Noble Manta 2010 ended on 24th February 2010 Wednesday.

Noble Manta 10 has allowed practicing – with excellent results – potential missions to be conducted as part of the NATO Response Force, to include conducting multi-dimensional ASW in a simulated emerging crisis, when the submarine threat must be managed without immediate use of force.” Vice Admiral Maurizio Gemignani, Commander Allied Maritime Component Command Naples said.

According to NATO’s official statement, differently from previous editions, during the last cycle of Noble Manta 10 surface units returned to port so as to create a ‘quiet’ environment in which submarines and aircraft were left alone in coping with a submarine threat, as it may happen in a precursor operation, when military ships are not present yet. Another ‘first’ was the enhanced ‘free play’ period during which commanders where able to take individual decisions on how to conduct the assigned mission.

NATO’s final statement is here, and here are photos from the participants.


>Noble Manta 2010 Has Started

>NATO’s largest annual Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercise Noble Manta 2010 has started today. It will continue till 24 February.

Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States will task seven submarines, 18 aircraft (including ship-based helicopters) and eight surface ships.  
Seven submarines, one each from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain, and two from Turkey are scheduled to join the exercise. Each submarine will have the opportunity of being a hunter as well as the prey. NATO surface ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, plus an Italian frigate, an Italian auxiliary and a French frigate will also take part.

Turkish Navy wil take part with Type 209/1200 class submarine TCG Dolunay and Type 209/1400 class submarine TCG 18 Mart and G (Perry) class frigate TCG Göksu. She is the Turkish contrubution to SNMG-2.

A personal note: I am delighted to see that NATO put a link to my webpage from Noble Manta 2010 home page. Now I can boast that I am official recognized by NATO ;-)

>Noble Manta 2009 ended

>Today the biggest NATO ASW exercise Noble Manta ended. The final press relase for the exercise can be read here.

Commander Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South;Rear Admiral Leidig stated:

“Noble Manta confirmed this year to be a vital tool to maintain and improve allied interoperability in all the aspects of modern warfare that involve the use of submarines or the defence against them. The exercise has seen the submarines – working with and against naval and air forces – conducting their full range of potential missions, from enforcement of maritime embargoes to surveillance operations like those they routinely conduct also in support of the fight against terrorism.”

This statement of Admiral Leidig shows that the submarines has become more than just a tool to sink ships stealthly. Enforcment of maritime embargoes for example was a surface force job. The importance of surveillance operations are getting higher at submarine force every day. For many naives the subs are ideal tools for secret observations, and data gathering.

Leidig also added, “The participation of Air Independent Propulsion submarines has been an important ‘first’ for this exercise series, as it has provided an opportunity to employ in a multinational environment the greater underwater endurance of conventionally powered submarines of the latest generation.”

The emphasis is mine. I wonder that leassons are learnt by the use of AIP submarines and how these leasson are reflected to the daily operations of submarines.

>Noble Manta 2009 continues

>NATO’s largest annual anti-submarine warfare exercise, Noble Manta 2009 is taking place in the Ionian Sea to the Southeast of Sicily. The exercise started on 13 February and will and on 27 February 2009.

Eight NATO nations are providing 6 submarines, 9 surface ships and 13 aircraft to take part in the exercise.

Turkish Navy participates with 2 submarines Ay class S-351 TCG Doğanay and Gür class S-360 TCG I. İnönü and 1 frigate, Gabya class F-495 TCG Gediz. TCG 1.İnönü is the latest submarine of Turkish Navy. She has been commissioned on 22 July 2007.

There is a significant error on the official NATO photo page. This is not the photo of TCG 1.İnönü as stated but of TCG Doğanay. Is NATO so uninformed about its assests?

TCG Preveze In Durrës

Preveze Durres1

Turkish Preveze (Type 209/1400) class submarine S-353 TCG Preveze in Durrës, Albania. Photo: Albanian Armed Forces.

Turkish submarine TCG Preveze made a 3 day port visit in Durrës, Albania. She was returning from the NATO exercise Dynamic Manta 2015 in Italy.

The submarine set sail for this deployment on 3 September 2015.

Pursuant to the Plan of Cooperation between the Albanian and the Naval Forces of Turkey, arrived for a visit in Durres port, the submarine “TCG Preveza S – 353”. The Purpose of this visit is Cooperation and joint training between Our Force and the Turkish Navy Marine. Turkish ship Was escorted to our territorial waters from small sailing motorboat R – 118, with commander kapitenllejtënant. Alket Cullhaj. In the dock 4 port Durres ND “TCG Preveza” Was Received by staff of Naval Flotilla, Representatives of the Authority and Durres Port Security, Military Police, Private Entities, etc.

While it is not usual for submarines to visit foreign ports, Durrës has been a prefered stop over for Turkish submarines in the last few years:

2014: TCG Sakarya

2013: TCG Anafartalar

2010: TCG Dolunay

TCG Anafartalar In Durres Albania


TCG Anafartalar, in Durres Albania

The Turkish submarine in the Ionian Sea, TCG Anafartalar made a four-day visit to Durrës, Albania, after she has participated to the NATO ASW exercise, Noble Manta 2013. It is not common for submarines to make port visits.

From the news bulletin of Durrës Port Authority dates 14 March 2013:

This morning in the port of Durres has arrived Turkish submarine “TCG Anafartalar.” Official sources Naval Forces Command, announced that Turkish Navy military ship will conduct a 4-day port visit, scheduled for 2013 our member countries of NATO. During their stay in our country staff submariner “TCG Anafartalar s-356” will conduct visits to some of the major cities of the country, as well as historical and archaeological center. Meanwhile provided with cultural and sports activities between local sailors and friends from Turkey – our Command naval sources said. This is the third submarine of the Turkish Naval Fleet to visit the port of Durres in a period of three years. Submarine “TCG Anafartalar” will leave the port of Durrës on 17 March.

As far as I know TCG Dolunay was in Durrës in 2010. I would appreciate any information about other Turkish submarines in Duress in 2011 and 2012.

A Submarine Sighted

On 22 February 2012, in the early morning hours, one Turkish Type 209 / 1400 class submarine sailed through Bosphorus to Marmara Sea. Since Turkish Navy stooped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult. All I can say is that this is not S-357 TCG Gür, as she is taking part in Proud Manta 2012.

With 6 Type 209/1200 and 8 Type 209/1400 class submarines in service, Turkey has the largest conventional submarine fleet in the NATO.

>Running Silent and Deep

>The biggest NATO anti submarine warfare exercise Proud Manta was conducted in the Ionian Sea to the Southeast of Sicily and ended yesterday, 17 February 2011.

NATO has uploaded an interesting video about the exercise.

>Will Russian Submarine Alrosa Participate In Bold Monarch, Or Not?


Proud Manta 11 is not the only majorNATO naval exercise planned for this year in the Mediterranean.

Exercise Bold Monarch 2011, a majorNATO live submarine escape and rescue exercise will be in theMediterranean off the coast of Cartegena, Spain from 1-9 June 2011.Approximately 2000 participants will come from over 10 nations,including 3 partner nations and 1 Mediterranean Dialogue country.

During the exercise, three submarines,one each from the Netherlands, Norway and France, will be bottomed tosimulate sinking. Support personnel and equipment from Canada, FranceGermany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, TheRussian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United Stateswill work together to solve complex rescue and medical problems in avariety of demanding scenarios.

This last information contradics withnews from Russia. The Russian Website Rusnavy claims that RussianBlack Sea Fleet is preparing Kilo Class submarine Alrosa for thisexercise, although definitive decision has not been made yet. If thedecision is positive, the submarine would have to sail off Sevastopolearly in May to reach the Mediterranean Sea via Bosporus andDardanelles.

Considering that Bold Monarch is asearch-and-rescue exercise, several BSF salvage ships and tugs may alsopaticipate.

Will a Russian submarine realy take part in a NATO exercise? We will have to wait. Numbered days passes quickly says one Turkish proverb.

>TCG Dolunay in Albania

>Type 209 class, Turkish submarine S-352 TCG Dolunay docked at Durres, Albania for a two day long visit.

TCG Dolunay was one of the two Turkish submarines that participated in NATO’s annual ASW exercise Noble Manta 2010.

A submarine is an interesting selection for a good will visit vessel. Submarines look uninteresting and dull from the outside and are not equipped to carter large crowds. A frigate is more impressive as a tool of soft power. On the other hand the only Turkish frigate that took part in Noble Manta 10 (and the nearest to the area) F-497 TCG Göksu is heading to Turkey in order to be relived by F-493 TCG Gelibolu, before SNMG-2 sails to Gulf of Aden as reported.

TCG Dolunay, will stay in Durres for two days. According to news reports there will be some naval exercise between Turkish and Albanian navies and mutual visits of naval officers.

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