Turkish Warships In Istanbul

Two Turkish Kılıç class, missile armed fast attack boats are visiting Istanbul. They were open to public visit today and they will be open tomorrow too.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P-334 TCG Meltem.

P338

P-338 TCG Bora.

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed.

The heavy edited announcement from the Italian aircraft maker Aleina Aermacchi made it sound so nice, it was too good to be true.

Alenia Aermacchi has signed an agreement with Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı (SSM), the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries to deliver two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) and six ATR 72-600 TMPA (Turkish Maritime Patrol Aircraft) to the Turkish Navy. The contract calls for strong industrial collaboration between Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) for the duration of the project.

But the magic lasted only one paragraph.

The agreement is an amendment to a previous deal between Alenia and the Turkish government for the delivery of 10 ATR 72-500 ASW to the Turkish Navy.The most important change into the contract amendment is the adoption of the new -600 version of the ATR 72, the best in class of regional Turboprop. The original contract was based on the now out of production ATR 72-500.

I think the whole Meltem acquisition project should be thought in business and project management courses as a case study as an example how not to run a project.

When the Project started in 1998, CASA was still an independent company; the C-295 has just made its maiden flight and its ASW version did not exist even in the dreams of the CASA/EADS/Airbus Military engineers. After 16 years we still do not have any fully operational ASW planes for our navy.

And it gets only worse. Last week the Alenia announced that they were going to delivery 8 new planes to Turkish Navy. This is actually BS as two of the planes will be two ATR 72-600 TMUA (Turkish Maritime Utility Aircraft) which means in plain English that these planes will carry neither weapons nor any sensors. They will be used cargo planes.

Thanks to the agreement, the Turkish Navy will obtain the last generation ATR72-600 equipped with a glass cockpit as well as more powerful engines that guarantee best performance and supportability for the next 30 years.

The two ATR 72-600TMUA–already in the modification phase at Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Naples-Capodichino–will be used by the Turkish Navy for personnel and cargo transport and will be delivered in June and July 2013 .

In July 2005 a contract was signed to procure 10 ATR-72-500 planes for ASW missions, to be used by Turkish Navy after the first part of the program involving the CN-235 planes was stuck.  8 years later, the Italians realized that they cannot deliver the 10 planes to according to the deal done in the contract so they had to renegotiate the whole deal. Now we get 2 planes less but a newer version of the ATR-72 plane as production of the  -500 variant is discontinued in the mean time.

As the newer -600 version has improved engines it is believed that the performance of the -600 will be superior to the old -500 version. But this fact has to be proven first.

I must give my respects to the PR people of the SSM and Alenia as they deserved it by making a good news from the rotten state of the whole Meltem Project; that is some spin doctoring.

Turkish Navy Naval Parade In Dardanelles

Just like in the previous years, on 18 March 2013, Turkish Navy organized a naval parade in Dardanelles, to commemorate the 98th anniversary of the victory against the Allied Fleet in 18 March 1915.

Unlike past 3 years, I was not able to travel to Çanakkale to watch the parade. But instead I am honored and delighted to share some of the excellent photos Mr. Ahmet Güven. All photos in this post are his work and used by me with his permission.

Following ships took part in the parade:

F245

F-245 TCG Oruçreis

F-246 TCG Salihreis.

F-246 TCG Salihreis. With her brand new SMART-S Mk2 3D air/surface search radar.

F-247

F-247 TCG Kemalreis.

F-497 TCG Göksu. She too had her brand new Smart-s Mk2 3D radar.

F-497 TCG Göksu. She too displayed her brand new SMART-S Mk2 3D air/surface search radar.

F497

F-497 TCG Göksu

F-511 TCG Heybeliada.

F-511 TCG Heybeliada.

P1203_1

P-1203 TCG Kumkale

P1205

P-1205 TCG Karabiga

P332

P-332 TCG Mızrak

P334

P-334 TCG Meltem

P336

P-336 TCG Zıpkın

P337

P-337 TCG Atak

M267

M-267 TCG Ayvalık

M270

M-270 TCG Akçay

KILIÇ CLASS

NUMBER NAME LAUNCHED COMMISIONED
P-330 KILIÇ 15 July 1997 24 July 1998
P-331 KALKAN 22 September 1998 22 July 1999
P-332 MIZRAK 5 April 1999 8 June 2000
P-333 TUFAN 25 July 2001 26 July 2005
P-334 MELTEM 1 September 2004 26 July 2005
P-335 IMBAT 26 July 2005 March 2007
P-336 ZIPKIN 27 September 2006 17 September 2007
P-337 ATAK 4 January 2006 14 January 2009
P-338 BORA 2007 7 April 2010

P330 (2) P331 (2)P-332 TCG MızrakP333P334P335 (2) P336 (2)P337P338

Characteristics:
Displacement: 552 tons full load
Dimensions: 62.4 x 8.5 x 2.5 metres
Speed, Range: 42 knots, 1050 miles at 30 kts.
Crew: 45 (7 officers)

Weapons:
Guns: 1 x 76mm/62; 2 x 40mm/70
Missiles: 8 x Harpoon SSM

Sensors:
Radars: MW 08, surface search; STING, fire control; SCOUT/KH1007, navigation

Comments:
This class was ordered in two batches. The first batch of three ships are called KILIÇ-I and the second batch of remaining 6 as KILIÇ-II. P-330 TCG Kılıç and P-333 TCG Meltem were constructed in Germany, the remaining in Gölcük Naval Shipyard.

These class has a similar hull, machinery as the Doğan and Yıldız classes but are bigger and heavier. The Kılıç class has a redesigned mast and superstructure for reduced radar cross-section.

They can make 24 knots in sea state 5.

KARTAL CLASS

NUMBER NAME COMMISIONED
P-326 PELİKAN 17 December 1984
P324
Characteristics:
Displacement: 190 tons full load
Dimensions: 42.5 x 7 x 2.4 metres
Speed, Range: 42 knots, 500 miles at 40 kts.
Crew: 39 (4 officers)
Weapons:
Guns: 2 x 40mm/90 Bofors
Missiles: 2 x Penguin Mk2 SSM
Torpedoes: 2 x 533mm single launcher for G-7A
Sensors:
Radars: 1226, navigation
Comments:
All build in Germany based on the Zobel class used by the German Navy. Can carry up to 4 mines. Their keel is made from light metal and have a wooden planking and aluminum superstructure. TCG Meltem was lost in a collision with the Russian training ship Khasan on 25th September 1985. She was later salvaged and scrapped. Although these boats are getting old they are still in service because they very fast and very hard to detect.As these boats have reached the end of their useful lifes theyt are getting decommssioned. In 2013 TCG Denizkuşu, TCG Atmaca, TCG Kartal, in 2014 TCG Şimşek, TCG Kasırga, in 2015 TCG Şahin and TCG Atmaca were retired from active service.

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

TCSG552

The first maritime surveillance plane for the Turkish Coast Guard entered into service. Photos: Savunma ve Strateji Forumu.

15 years after the project has started the first plane of the Meltem project  was finally handed over to the Turkish Coast Guard on 23th January 2013. When the Meltem project started, this and this aircraft were not even on drawing boards. Since then they have taken off.

The plane TCSG-552 is the first of the three planes acquired for the surveillance missions. The planes of the coast guard are equipped with a side looking airborne radar (SLAR), AselFLIR-200,  Ocean Master 400 radar. The remaining two planes will enter into service in 2013.

Since the start of the Meltem has been beleaguered with delays. The project has 3 parts:

  • Meltem I:  The purchase of three CN-235′s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235′s in AsuW and ASW missions for Turkish Navy. This part of the project started in 1998 and ended in 2002.
  • Meltem II:  The integration of AMASCOS  (Airborne MAritime Situation & Control System) and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. The Thales made AMASCOS  was selected as the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date. The aircraft started to enter into contemporary commission only in 2012 both in Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard.
  • Meltem III: The purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor. No aircraft has yet been delivered to the Navy and this stage of the project too encountered some delays already. It is possible that in the end Turkish Navy will get less than 10 planes.

More photos from the maritime surveillance plane:
tcsg552c
tcsg552b

My Impressions From 5.Naval Systems Seminar (Part II)

Some more information and gossip from the 5th Naval Systems Seminar. Click here to read the first part on Bosphorus Naval News.

  • In November, F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of the Milgem class corvettes will leave for her first overseas deployment, to the Gulf of Aden. It is not clear at the moment if she will replace the Gabya (ex-Perry) class frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik the flagship of CTF-151 or not.
  • Towards to the end of the year the Turkish Naval Task Force will be reactivated. It is not clear where the task force will be deployed. It is possible that TCG Heybeliada may be a part of this task force.
  • Inşallah, the first 3 ships of the Coast Guards large Search and Rescue ships will be handed over by RMK to the end use before the end of 2012. This is a direct quote from Mr. Şener.
  • The first four planes from Meltem Project have been in temporary acceptance in Turkish Navy. The main contractor TAI Expects to hand all planes to Turkish Navy until the end of 2013.
  • Below are some interesting slides from various presentations from the seminar.

  • The contracts has been signed for the following projects: The design of the replenishment and support ship, the submarine rescue ship, the rescue and salvage ships, seismic research ship, modernization of SAR-33 class boats.
  • The following units has been handed over to Turkish Navy: Milgem, New Type Patrol Boats 7 units, Coast Guard intervention boats 20+ units, upgraded SAR-35 class boats 4 units, coast Guard large patrol boat 3 units, LCT’s 8 units.

  • Short term projects: Milgem S, replenishment and support ship, LCAC, conceptual design of a national submarine LPD.
  • Long term projects: TF2000, Turkish Type Fast Attack Craft, 600 tons coast guard vessel, minesweepers, training schooners.

  • Estimated cost of the all planned shipbuilding projects : 6,8 billion USD. To make a comparison the total contract value of the proceeding  naval projects is 8 billion USD.

Phoenix Express 2012 and Beyaz Fırtına 2012 Naval Exercises

According to a statement made on the Official Turkish Navy Web page, Turkey is participating to the Phoenix Express exercise.

Phoenix Express 2012, a multi-national at-sea maritime exercise designed to help increase maritime safety and security in the Mediterranean Sea and to improve cooperation among participating nations of Algeria, Canada, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States.

Turkey is participation in PE12 with Gabya class frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu and a naval infantry detachment.

On the other hand there has been no official statement either From Turkish General Staff or Turkish Naval Forces about the Turkish naval exercise Beyaz Fırtına 2012. Thus the below list of participating ships is gathered from various local and national news papers, web portals and is not complete. There is also no concrete information about the duration of the exercise.

Number
Name
Type
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette
F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate
F-504 TCG Bartın Corvette
P-335 TCG İmbat Fast Attack Craft
P-334 TCG Meltem Fast Attack Craft
P-321 TCG Denizkuşu Fast Attack Craft
P-327 TCG Albatros Fast Attack Craft
P-323 TCG Şahin Fast Attack Craft
P-347 TCG Fırtına Fast Attack Craft
A-571 TCG Albay Hakkı Burak Tanker
F-496 TCG Gökova Frigate

Turkish ASW plane Spotted In Malta

Turkish CN-235 ASW plane under French registration in Mlata on 9th November 2011. Photo: Neil Psaila

If I do not see photos of the CN-235 ASW planes every now and then I would think that the project is dead and everyone have forgotten it.

The ASW plane acquisition project (also known as Meltem project) of Turkish Navy is a very long saga and consist of 3 parts:

Meltem (I): Constructione of three CN-235’s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235’s for AsuW and ASW missions. This has been the only part of the whole MELTEM project, completed so far. All the nine planes were manufactured and delivered between 1998-2003.

Meltem (II): integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. Thales made AMASCOS(Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) was selected and the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date.

Because of the delays in this project Thales accepted to pay fines to Turkey.

Following the discussions initiated in early 2010 on the Meltem maritime patrol aircraft program, Thales and the Turkish Ministry of Defence signed an agreement on 3 March 2011. As expected at the end of 2010, this agreement rescopes all engineering and schedule aspects of the contract. It also provides for financial compensation to be paid by Thales (penalties and extra work to be undertaken free of charge). Consequently, the financial assumptions taken into account in the 2010 financial statements were maintained at 30 June 2011.

Meltem (III): purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor.

Under Meltem III Program, the first ATR72-500 aircraft arrived at  Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), on 14th February 2008. The contract of the Meltem III program, covering the procurement of a total of 10 ATR72-500 aircraft and their change into Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) configuration for the Turkish Navy was signed between Alenia Aeronautica S.p.A and TAI on December 21, 2005. Alenia has started to manufacture the planes. But the stage of the integration of ASW suite is not clear.

In my humble opinion the project is as disastrous as the Pananikolis project of the neighbor.

Turkish Navy Received ASW Training In France

Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft. Official French Navy Photo

Turkish Navy personel received training in France according to French internet naval portal Mer et Marine.

In order to maintain the necessary know-how for airborne ASW and AsuW missions, Ankara has thus called on twice in DCI-NAVFCO for operational training of two groups of six tactical coordinators. The mission of DCI – NAVFCO , naval component of the Défense Conseil International group, is to transfer French Navy know-how to requesting friendly foreign navies.

The Turkish officers were given a general upgrading of knowledge of anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare, and operational training at Naval Training Center of St. Mandrier. Later they received 6 weeks aviation training on the Nîmes-Garonne airbase. There the Turkish officers operated two Atlantic maritime patrol aircraft of the French Navy.

This training in France was a neceesity as Turkish Navy retired last Grumman S-2E Tracker ASW planes 16 years ago and needs patrol planes for maritime surveillance, monitoring territorial Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters, for detecting all forms of illicit trade and trafficking, accidental pollution and oil dumping, and for search-and-rescue operations

The ASW plane acquisition project (also known as Meltem project) of Turkish Navy is a very long saga and consist of 3 parts:

  • Meltem (I): purchase of three CN-235′s for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance missions by the Turkish Coast Guard and six CN-235′s in AsuW and ASW missions. This has been the only part completed so far.
  • Meltem (II): integration of AMASOC and its sub components on the above mentioned planes. Thales made AMASCOS (Airborne MAritime Situation and COntrol System) was selected and the main C3I system for the above mentioned CN-235 planes back in 2002. Thales acts as the main contractor and Turkish companies TAI, Havelsan, Aselsan and Milsoft are acting as sub contractors. According to the contract the planes were to be in service in 2007. But the first modified plane made its maiden flight one year after the contractual delivery date.
  • Meltem (III): purchase of ten ATR-72 ASW planes and integration of AMASCOS on to them. For Meltem (III) Aleina is the prime contractor.
The planed commissioning for CN-235 ASW planes is in 2011 and the scheduled delivery of the first ATR-72 ASW is in 2012.
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