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Turkish Navy Is Taking Part In Deniz Kurdu 2017

On 13 May 2017 Turkish warships set sail to participate in annual Deniz Kurdu exercise.

The exercise is held in Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean Sea and will continue till 26 May 2017.

The purpose of the exercise is:

  • to test the efficiency level of the current command control structure under realistic conditions
  • to determine the functionality of the support provided to the other forces
  • to evaluate the to what extent the units of Turkish Naval Command can fulfill their duties and responsibilities  during the transition from a crisis environment to a conventional warfare environment.

14 frigates, 6 corvettes, 17 fast attack craft, 9 submarines, 6 mine hunters, 13 logistic support ships, 4 patrol boats, 4 MPA/ASW planes, 19 helicopters are taking part in this exercise. 9 boats and 1 SAR vessel from Turkish Coast Guard and numerous planes from Turkish Air Force is also taking part in this exercise.

The table below shows, the percentage of the participating Turkish Naval units, compared to the total ships in service.

In service Participating to DK 2017 %
Frigates 16 14 88%
Submarines 12 9 75%
Corvettes 8 6 75%
Fast Attack Craft 19 17 89%
Mine hunters 11 6 55%
Patrol boats 16 4 25%
Logistic support ships 5 13 260%
Planes 8 4 50%
Helicopters 35 19 54%

As one can see the majority of Turkish Naval units are taking part in Deniz Kurdu 2017.

The numbers for logistics supports ships does not make any sense. Turkish Navy has 5 replenishment ships that can be counted as logistics support ship. I have no idea how number for logistic ships was calculated as 13. As more news and photos start to be published we may learn more.

But other numbers are impressive and show that the majority of Turkish warships are, now at sea and honing their skills.

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Turkey Deploys Two Warships To SNMG-2

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TCG Giresun passing through Istanbul in 2014. Photo: Yörük Işık.

Gabya class frigate F-491 TCG Giresun and Tuzla class patrol boat P-1201 TCG Karaburun has been deployed to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two.

According to NATO Maritime Command, TCG Giresun is attached to SNMG-2 Task Unit 2 consisting of Spanish frigate ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon and Canadian frigate HMCS St. John’s. TCG Giresun will join the task force in Toronto, Italy.

The patrol boat TCG Karaburun is deployed closer to Turkey. She is will support NATO activities in the Aegean Sea as part of the international efforts to stop illegal trafficking and migration. Tuzla class patrol boats have been very active last year in the Aegean Sea and rescued hundreds may be thousands of refugees from the sea.

A Prototype Of A Turkish Air Defence Gun System Is Aground On A Greek Island

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The above photo shows Aselsan’s naval version of Korkut air defence gun system. The below photo shows the grounded vessel Alcatras and her cargo. A is the 3D search radar. The shape of the radar and the neck of the mast is very distinct. B is the fire control radar on the turret. Though the turret is covered on the boat, the shape and the height is consistent with the uncovered turret. The arrow shows the direction of the barrels. The photo above is from Twitter user @TyrannosurusRex. The photo below is from The Toc.

I don’t know what to say. Should I call it a Greek tragedy or a Turkish comedy? A brand-new prototype of locally developed naval air defence system ended up, grounded on a Greek Island.

The whole episode started like many others. The Turkish flagged M/V Alcatras experienced a rudder failure as she was sailing from Tuzla, Istanbul to Antalya, according to the captain’s statement. Being unable to steer she run aground on Kos island at approximately 100 m from the beach of Lambi. Such incidents do happen in the Aegean Sea quite often.

M/V Alcatras is a 28 meters long vessels. She bears all the characteristics of a large Turkish fishing vessel designed to work on the seas around Turkey. But she is has no fishing gear installed. She is registered as a diving tender. The old photos of the vessel in Marine Traffic shows a typical working boat, with the superstructure in front and a large working area at aft.

When M/V Alcatras was grounded in Kos however she was loaded with what appears as two white containers for accommodation or for working and one green container. Furthermore she has one medium hight mast with a covered top and another structure also totally covered. This is the valuable cargo. The mast and the covered cargo have the distinct shape of the naval air defence gun system developed by Aselsan.

Aselsan has developed for Turkish Army a self propelled air defense gun system called Korkut. One Korkut unit consists one command and control vehicle with a 3D search radar (marked A on the photo above) and 3 gun vehicles, each fitted with a twin 35mm air defence gun and a fire control radar. The twin guns are Oerlikon GDF-002 units produced under licence by MKEKThe development of Korkut has recently reached the field testing phase and some vehicles were delivered to Turkish Army for this purpose.

The naval Korkut was loaded on M/V Alcatras in Istanbul and she was heading to Antalya. There are no naval construction facilities in Antalya. M/V Alcatras was not merely transporting the system from Tuzla to Antalya. It is safe to assume once in Antalya, the vessel was to conduct tests on the open sea. Hence there are containers on board too. The location of the turret proivdes a wide arc of fire from the side.

There were rumors that a navalised air defence gun system based on Korkut was also on development but there was no concrete evidence. First the photo of the prototype was published on Twitter. Later the news about the grounding of a Turkish vessel with a mysterious cargo was published. Now, we and our neighbours know that we have developed a prototype of such a system.

The Greek website OnAlert reported that the cargo of M/V Alcatras was transferred to another vessel to lighten up the around ship.

Since there is no official statements about the incident, there is a (though small) possibility that my story may turn out to be wrong. And I would like to thank Alper Böler for his carefull observation.

Sea Lion 2016 Search And Rescue Exercise

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Large OPV’s like SG-701 TCSG Güven here are vital for search and rescue missions in maritime domain.

Turkish Coast Guard will conduct Sea Lion-2016 Search and Rescue Exercise, between 3rd and 6th May 2016, in international waters of the Aegean Sea covered by Turkish Search and Rescue Area. Search and Rescue units from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and elements of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ministry will participate in the exercise.

The aim of the exercise is to improve the co-ordination and collaboration between the military and civilian search and rescue units and co-ordination centers.

TCG Edremit Joins NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2

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M-262 TCG Enez, sister ship to TCG Edremit. Photo: Devrim Yaylalı

The Engin class mine hunter, M-261 TCG Edremit has joined NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2. She will remain deployed till 24 April 2016. and will spend 72 days on sailing.

SNMCMG-2, under the Command of Turkish Navy, made a port visit to Izmir between 15 and 17 January 2015. The other port visits planed for SNMCMG-2 will be in Çanakkale, Erdek, İstanbul, Burgas, Batumi, Patras, Koper, Bar, Split, Venice, Bari and Toronto.

Between 20 and 27 February 2016, SNMCMG-2 will take part in Poseidon Naval Exercise organised by Bulgarian Navy. The task force will also take part in Exercise Ariadne, organised by Greek Navy between 4 and 13 March 2015.

This is the current composition of SNMCMG-2:

Number
Name
Nation
Type
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Flagship
M-261 TCG Edremit Turkey Mine hunter
M-33 SPS Tambre Spain Mine hunter
62 BGS Shkval Bulgaria Mine sweeper

Russian Warship Fires Warning Shots To A Turkish Fishing Vessel

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Smetlivy seen here heading to the Mediterranean in September.

Today the Russian destroyer Smetlivy and the Turkish fishing boat Geçiciler Balıkçılık got dangerously close. The Russian warship had to fire warning shots to the unarmed Turkish fishing vessel to turn away. The incident happened 22 kilometers east of the Greek Island Lemnos in the Norther Aegean.

Earlier today the crew of Russia’s “Smetlivy” destroyer was forced to use firearms to prevent a collision with a Turkish seiner vessel in the northern part of the Aegean Sea, according to Russia’s Ministry of Defense.
Russian Frigate Uses Firearms to Prevent Collision With Turkish Vessel in Aegean Sea
The destoyer’s crew spotted an approaching Turkish ship at a distance of approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles). The seiner did not attempt to establish radio contact with the Russian ship and did not respond to signal lamps or flairs.
Upon the Turkish seiner’s dangerously close approach to the anchored “Smetlivy” at a distance of 600 meters (656 yards), the Russian patrol ship fired a shot beyond the hitting range of the firearms to avoid collision.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Turkish vessel immediately changed its course and, without contacting the Russian crew, kept moving by the “Smetlivy” destroyer at a distance of 540 meters (590 yards).

The above was the Russian version of the event. The Turkish version is different:

However, Muzaffer Gecici, who is the owner of the Turkish vessel Geciciler Balikcilik, has flatly denied the Russian claims saying that his boat and the Russian warship had a distance of at least 1 mile (1.6 km). 
He also stated that the Russian warship was not on the move and nobody heard any warning shots from the destroyer, adding that his vessel is technologically well-equipped and that he has already given footage from the incident to the Turkish Coast Guard. 
Meanwhile, the Russian ministry has released another statement after it summoned Turkey’s military naval attache in Moscow, Rear Admiral Ahmet Gunes, saying that the Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov had “a conversation” with Gunes.  
The statement has puzzlingly tried to link the latest incident in the Aegean with Russia’s “counter-terrorism tasks in Syria” blaming Turkey with “reckless actions” against “the Russian military contingent” in the country.
The statement has also claimed that the Turkish vessel, which is a small civilian fisher boat, was able to provoke the Russian military guard ship Smetlivy.

The Russian Navy should start to use acoustic hailing devices. These devices have a very powerful audio output capability with a vert focused narrow beam. They can make your message, be heard in large distances miles away. With the aid of these devices a warship can hail and warn any other vessel in her vicinity that does not respond to radio contact, to signal lamps or flairs before starting to shot.

Photos From Nusret 2014 Naval Exercise

First row from left to right: M-263 TCG Erdek, M-1069 FGS Homburg, M-108 HMS Grimsby. Second row from left to right: M-503 TCG Finike, M-502 TCG Fatsa, Y-116 TCG Pınar 3. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

First row from left to right: M-263 TCG Erdek, M-1069 FGS Homburg, M-108 HMS Grimsby. Second row from left to right: M-503 TCG Finike, M-502 TCG Fatsa, Y-116 TCG Pınar 3. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

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From left to right: M-261 TCG Edremit, M-264 TCG Erdemli, M-268 TCG Akçakoca, M-267 TCG Ayvalık. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

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A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

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From left to right: M-62 HS Evropi, 63 BGS Priboi. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

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The training mines on board of TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa are clearly visible. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

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The flagship of SNMCMG-2 F-583 ITS Aviere. Photo: Oktay Cömert. Used with permission.

The ships participating to the Turkish led mine warfare exercise Nusret 2014 were in İzmir for the weekend.

The below is the list of the participating warships as far as I could identify:

F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Mine Hunter Turkey
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Mine Hunter Turkey
M-261 TCG Edremit Mine Hunter Turkey
M-264 TCG Erdemli Mine Hunter Turkey
M-502 TCG Fatsa Mine Sweeper Turkey
M-503 TCG Finike Mine Sweeper Turkey
M- TCG X Mine Sweeper Turkey
A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa Tender Turkey
P-X TCG X Patrol boat Turkey
F-583 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
M-62 HS Evropi Mine Hunter Greece
M-263 TCG Erdek Mine Hunter Turkey
M-108 HMS Grimsby Mine Hunter UK
M-1069 FGS Homburg Mine Hunter Germany
63 BGS Priboy Mine Sweeper Bulgaria

Lest We Forget: The Gallipoli Campaign

Yesterday and today at dawn, many Turks, Australians and New Zealanders commemorated the 99th anniversary of the  Gallipoli wars and the death. This is post I have written 4 years ago. But I don’t think anything has changed.

It was clear to the Allied commanders, after their attempt to force the Dardanelles by the naval alone, failed dramatically in 18 March; ground troops were needed to silence the Turkish defenses along the Strait.

On the dawn of 25th April after more a month of preparation and planning British, French and ANZAC troops landed on the beach on Gallipoli and Anatolia. This was the beginning of the one of the gruesome campaigns of the First World War.

For the next 8 and half months over 200.000 soldiers of all participants were either killed, wounded, hospitalized by illness or went missing.

The Gallipoli wars were particularly important for Turks, Australians and New Zealanders. Although the ANZAC came to our home as invaders there is a special bond between these nations. Long forgotten are the atrocities of the war. Every year thousands of Aussies and Kiwis come to Çanakkale and visit the battleground and attend the dawn service in Anzac Cove (now this is the official name of the cove). I do not know any other commemoration where two former enemies join to remember their fallen soldiers.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who personally fought against the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli, later wrote in 1934 for his former advisories the following words:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmet’s to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.

Russia And Greece Signed An Agreement On Military Cooperation

Last week Russia and Greece signed an intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation, during the visit of Russian Defense minister Sergei Shoigu to Athens.

It is worth of mentioning that this visit was conducted just before Athens will take the Presidency of EU for the next 6 months staring in 1.1.2014. Greece is NATO’s only member country to pursue fruitful military technological cooperation with Russia.

We signed an agreement that opens new frameworks and new boundaries for our further work in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Sergei Shoigu told journalists after talks with his Greek counterpart Dimitrios Avramopoulos in Athens.

The deal concerns armaments supplied previously as well as military hardware, maintenance and new hardware supplies, Shoigu said.

A Russian deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, said after the talks that Shoigu had proposed that Avramopoulos consider working out an agreement to streamline the procedure for Russian navy vessels calling at Greek ports.

Antonov said the two defense ministers had also discussed the possibility of holding personnel training events and exchanging experience in the fight against terrorism and piracy, as well as other areas of cooperation.

This new agreement will make it easier for Russian ships to dock at Greek port during their deployment in the Mediterranean thus making Greece a reliable alternative to the Syrian port Tartus.

According to Greek blog SManalysis, Russia will help Greek Navy to support the Zubr class hovercraft. Greek Navy has procured 4 of these air-cushioned landing craft. Three of them joined the Greek Navy in 2001 and the last one in 2005. They have a displacement of 550 tons and can carry up to 130 tons military material: 3 main battle tanks or 10 armored personnel carriers or 230 troops.

One of them was decommissioned in 2010 and the operational status of the remainder was dubious.

Turkish Coast Guard Boats Get New Sensors

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I regret any misunderstanding that my previous post may have caused. I was just away temporary for a week-long holiday. That was all.

The photos you see above are the Coast Guard boats I have encountered during the week in various coastal towns.

The last photo of the SG-80 TCSG-80 is the most interesting of them all for me. As you can see below enlarged, Turkish Coast Guard has started to install a thermal imaging system to its boats. This is long-due addition to these boats sensors. This particular sensor suite look very similar to Aselsan’s Falconeye electro-optical sensor system. If this is the case than the system has thermal imaging system, a high performance day TV, target acquisition system and a laser pointer. Four boats of various classes have received this new sensor already. Read more of this post

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