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The Nature Of The Beast

This is a photo of TCG Yıldıray, during a transit through Istanbul. TCG Batıray is identical.

Russian website inforeactor published a post about the Sea Breeze 2017 naval exercise, held in Ukraine, between 10. and 23. July 2017.

According to the post Turkish submarine TCG Batıray was able succesful ambushing Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny and US Navy cruiser USS Hué City.

So, an incidental situation developed during the training search for a submarine in the coastal waters of Odessa. According to the plan of the exercises, the Turkish diesel-electric submarine S349 Batiray lay in ambush, waiting for the passage of a large warship. She was searched by US cruiser CG66 Hue City and the flagship of the Ukrainian fleet, the “Hetman Sagaidachny” frigate. However, already at sea it became clear that both ships were not capable of detecting submarines.

On an American vessel, the towed hydroacoustic station was absent, since it was sent for repair. And in general, Americans positioned themselves as observers and advisers. On the Ukrainian ship, the situation was no better – after the “overhaul”, the GAS simply disappeared, and there were no others in the warehouses. Almost 7 hours the flotilla was looking for a Turkish submarine, until it was decided to lift the aircraft into the air. But even here the Americans did not use their equipment, leaving the search for the conscience of the Mi-14PL. On board the Ukrainian helicopter still preserved several sonar buoys, but they were without power supplies. As a result, the search was carried out purely theoretically. “Intruder” was discovered only after ascending to periscope depth….

 

TCG Batıray is an old submarine in service since 1978. She represents the first generation of Type 209 boats in service. Never the less, TCG Batıray being a conventional submarine and a knowing the area well has a distinct advantage against Hetman Sahaidachny and USS Hué City. The former is a Krivak III class frigate originally constructed for Soviet Border Guard forces. She is old and desperately needs replacement, something Ukraine currently can’t afford. USS Hué City is a Ticonderoga class cruiser, primary an air / ballistic missile defence ship with better underwater sensors than Ukrainian frigate.

This year Sea Breeze exercise did not  had a predetermined scenario. This year the exercise was held in a “free play” mode. Thus Turkish submarine took the necessary actions to hide itself and hunt its targets.

The Russian is a blatant propaganda site. They published this post not to praise Turkish Navy but to ridicule the Ukrainian Navy and it’s largest supporter US Navy. But to be honest what else could be the outcome of the described encounter?  That is the nature of the submarine warfare.

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End In Sight For Meltem Project ?

These beautiful photos of ATR-72-600 TMPA were taken by Lidie Berendsen in Turin Airport and modified by me.

A new batch of photos from Turkish Navy ATR-72-600 TMPA plane has emerged. The photos from last year showed an unpainted airplane where as this year the plane seems to be fully painted.

The first plane should have been delivered back in February 2017. But like the Meltem-I and Meltem_II projects, this  Meltem-III has been too plagued by notorious delays.

In July 2005, Italian Prime Minister Mr. Berlusconi and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan signed a deal on acquisition of 10 maritime patrol planes based on Alenia’s ATR-72 500 turboprop aircraft. According to the $219-million contract the initial deliveries were supposed to be in 2010.

The first ATR-72 500 arrived in Turkish Aerospace Industries in February 2008. TAI worked as Alenia’s local sub-contractor, carrying out all modifications from the base airframe to the ATR-72 MPA configuration. In May 2013, suddenly there was a big change in the project. The project was downsized from 10 planes to 8. 2 utility models for personnel and cargo transportation, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the upgrade from ATR-72 500 which, was no longer in production, to ATR-72 600.

In July 2013 the first utility model was delivered to Turkish Navy. In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. I think, the plane, seen in the above photo is this first plane.

I was able to identify the following items on board:

  1.  Magnetic anomaly detector antenna
  2. ESM antenna
  3. Radar warning and laser warning antennas
  4. Aft looking countermeasure dispenser or unknown antenna
  5. Countermeasure dispenser
  6. Radar
  7. Torpedoes
  8. FLIR

These planes are armed with two Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system that integrates an array of sensors.
According to the original timeline the first plane should have been already in service and the remaining ones join the service in 2018. I have no idea about the new schedule.

And if you have time to read the saga of the Turkish Navy’s maritime patrol plane aquisation project you can click here.

Mavi Balina 2016 Naval Exercise

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Romanian corvette, Contraamiral Horia Macellariu on her way to the Mavi Balina 2016 ASW exercise.

Yesterday, on 19th November 2016, anti submarine warfare exercise Mavi Balina (Blue Whale) has started. The exercise led by Turkish Navy will be held in Eastern Mediterranean.

The aim of the exercise is to increase the submarine warfare and ASW skill of the participating units. Turkish Navy is taking part with 4 frigates, one corvette and 5 submarines. Besides Turkey, Bulgaria, Canada, Pakistan, Romania, Spain and USA are also taking part in the exercise with warships.

The list of the participating units:

Number Name Type Country
41 BNS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
256 ROS Contraamiral Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
A-15 ESPS Cantabria Tanker Spain
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Corvette Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-496 TCG Gökova Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-503 TCG Beykoz Corvette Turkey
P-344 TCG Rüzgar Missile boat Turkey
P-345 TCG Poyraz Missile boat Turkey
S-351 TCG Doğanay Submarine Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
S-354 TCG Sakarya Submarine Turkey
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
S-359 TCG Burakreis Submarine Turkey
64 USS Carney Destroyer USA

First Photo Of Turkish Navy ATR-72 600 ASW Plane

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The first ATR-72 600 ASW plane of Turkish Navy in test flight. Photo: Lidie Berendsen.

It is a joy to see one ATR-72 60 ASW plane in the air  at last. It has been 11 years since the contract was signed.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

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

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

https://turkishnavy.net/2016/05/26/new-maritime-patrol-planes-for-turkish-navy/

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

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The saga of the procurement of these planes is longer than the range of the real plane.

The aviation journalist, Mr. Tony Osborne of Aviation Week & Space Technology reported from Farnborough Airshow Turkish ATR-72 maritime patrol program reached a milestone:


At the IDEF defense show in Istanbul in 2013, Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a memorandum of understanding to offer the ATR-72 as a maritime patrol aircraft, with the Italian company supplying the basic airframe and carrying out the final integration and test work, while TAI made modifications to the aircraft and installed mission equipment. To be known as Meltam-IIIs, they will be operated by the Turkish Navy and the first of six ordered will shortly be transferred to Turin, Italy, after fitting out by TAI in Turkey. The aircraft are fitted with the ThalesAirborne Maritime Situation & Control System (AMASCOS) mission system and should be delivered back to Turkey in 2017. Two more ATR-72s have already been supplied to Turkey for utility missions.

IF (yes that is a big if) the planes are delivered as scheduled in 2017 that will make 12 years from the signing of the original contact to the delivery.

In July 2005 Italian Prime Minister Mr. Belosconi and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan signed a deal on acquisition of 10 maritime patrol planes based on Alenia’s ATR-72 500 turboprop aircraft. According to the $219-million contract the initial deliveries were supposed to be in 2010.

The first ATR-72 500 arrived in Turkish Aerospace Industries in February 2008. TAI worked as Alenia’s local sub-contractor, carrying out all modifications from the base airframe to the ATR-72 MPA configuration.

In May 2013 suddenly there was a big change in the project. The project was downsized from 10 planes to 8: 2 utility models for personnel and cargo, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the model of the planes were upgraded, from ATR-72 500 which, was no longer in production, to ATR-72 600.

In July 2013 the first utility model was delivered to Turkish Navy. My understanding is, this plane was the original ATR-72 500
delivered to TAI in 2008, and was remodeled to ATR-72 600 in due time.

In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. According to the above quoted article this plane will shortly be transferred back to Alenia for final modification.

These planes will be armed with Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system.  AMASCOS integrates an array of sensors that include a surveillance turret, Thales’ Ocean Master search radar, an ESM radar/transmitter locator, a Magnetic Anomaly Detector to find submarines, and transmissions from launched sonobuoys.

Hopefully the plane will be in Turkish Navy service by 2017. In the mean time Turkish Navy is considering procurement of new maritime patrol planes with even longer ranges.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

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

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

https://turkishnavy.net/2016/05/26/new-maritime-patrol-planes-for-turkish-navy/

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

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A contract was signed on 2008 to buy 10 ATR 72-500 ASW from Italy. 8 years later we are still waiting patiently for the planes. All we got in the mean time are two unarmed ATR-72-600 planes for utility missions.

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6 of these C-235 ASW planes are the backbone of Turkish airborne ASWand AsuW missions. When the acquisition project of these planes 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.  P-8A Poseidon was not even on the drawing board.

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish Navy is considering the purchase of long-range patrol aircraft to add to its fleet of CN-235 and ATR72s, navy and procurement officials said.
“The requirement comes in line with the government’s foreign policy priorities,” explained one procurement official.
Navy officials say the planned aircraft should be able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey and fly 12 to 15 hours.
“Our current fleet may not respond to our future roles,” said one Navy official. “The new patrol aircraft should ideally have anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles.”
Naval industry sources say the Turkish description of the requirement would probably point to the Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly the Multimission Maritime Aircraft or MMA). The P-8 Poseidon was developed for the US Navy by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX.
The P-8 also conducts shipping interdiction, along with an electronic signals intelligence role which involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, SLAM-ER missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys. The aircraft is designed to operate in conjunction with the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime Surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle.
Procurement officials say they hope to issue a request for information for the planned acquisition soon.
“We are hoping to see a competitive contest,” one official said.
But industry sources say the description of the acquisition narrows options.
“There will not be too many bidders, judging from the description of the requirement,” said one source.

The technical requirement describes a plane that is able to fly 1,000 to 1,200 nautical miles away from their main base in Turkey and fly 12 to 15 hours. As far as I know there is only two planes exist that can fill this expectations. Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon and Ilyushin’s Il-38.

Given the political climate between Turkey and Russia I think a snowball in hell has better odds than Mr. Putin selling military airplanes to Turkey. This leaves us with one real contender: P-8A

I have no idea who the unnamed procurement official was, but I am glad that I am not in his/her shoes. It will be very hard to create an illusion of  competitive contest with one contestant.

Australia paid for 8 P-8A planes USD2.88 billion and India paid for 8 P-8I Neptune (Indian designation) planes USD2.1 billion. If this procurement project goes ahead it will be most expensive acquisitions for Turkish Naval Aviation. There are better places where we can wisely spend a couple billion US Dollars such as the air defence ship project TF-2000.

I will be most surprised if this announced interest in P-8A Poseidon planes materializes into a contract very soon. The acquisitions projects for maritime patrol and ASW planes are beleaguered with massive delays.

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

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

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

Turkish Navy Held Exercise For Aviation Units

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A S-70B Seahawk helicopter conducts vertical replenishment to a Ay class submarine. Photo: Turkish Navy

Turkish Navy conducted a small scale naval exercise between 15th and 19th February 2016. The Exercise “Şehit Rad.Asb.Kd.Çvş. Aydın CANBOLAT Tatcial Training” was named after the radar operator Petty Officer 2nd Class Aydın Canpolat who died when his Coast Guard AB-412 helicopter crashed to the sea in 2005.

As the name of the exercise suggests the aim of it was to train Turkish naval aviation units.  9 S-70B Seahawk ASW helicopters, 3 CN-235-100M ASW planes, 2 frigates, 2 fast attack craft and one submarine  took part in the training.

Landing and taking of from a frigate sized flight deck, vertical replenishment, search and rescue operations, anti submarine warfare, coordinated action with surface and submarine units, torpedo firings were some of the actions performed during the exercise.

Dynamic Manta 2016 Has Started

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Turkey is participating to the DYMA 2016 with one CN-235 ASW plane, the submarine TCG Dolunay and a

One of the largest anti submarine warfare exercises organised by NATO has started to-day off the coast of Sicily.Exercise Dynamic Manta 2016 will be held in Central Mediterranean where the ports and airbases on the island will host ships, submarines and air planes. The exercise will end of 4th March 2016.

Submarines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, under the control of NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), will join 4 surface ships from France, Italy and Spain. Host nation Italy is providing support from the Augusta Naval Base, Catania Harbour and the Sigonella Air Base in Catania.

To support the simulated multi-threat environment, 9 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Helicopters from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States will operate from Sigonella Air Base under the control of personnel from NATO Maritime Air Command (COMMARAIRNATO).

The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, with due regard to safety.
NATO has not published a list of participants yet but I was able to find the names of the following units:

Number Name Type Country
D-642 FS Montcalm Frigate France
A-608 FS Var Tanker France
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
S-121 HS Pipinos Submarine Greece
S-73 SPS Mistral Submarine Spain
F-81 SPS Santa Maria Frigate Spain

 

UPDATED: Mavi Balina Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise Starts Tomorrow

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TCG Batıray as seen in August 2014 in Istanbul. She is one of 4 Turkish submarines taking part in Mavi Balina ASW exercise.

I have updated and completed the list of the participating units:

F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate Turkey
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
S-347 TCG Atılay Submarine Turkey
S-349 TCG Batıray Submarine Turkey
S-356 TCG Anafartalar Submarine Turkey
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör Tanker Turkey
F-247 TCG Kemalreis Frigate Turkey
F-208 FGS Niedersachsen Frigate Germany
FFH-333 HMCS Toronto Frigate Canada
CG-55 USS Leyte Gulf Cruiser USA
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbón Frigate Spain
F-84 ESPS Reina Sofia Frigate Spain
DDG-67 USS Cole Destroyer USA
FFG-260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
S-90 HMS Torbay Submarine United kingdom

According to Turkish Navy besides the above listed units one rapid analysis team from NATO MARCOM and observers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Chile, Georgia, Kuwait, Lebanon will participate in the exercise.

Mavi Balina Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise Starts Tomorrow

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Turkish Navy announced that the Mavi Balina Naval Exercise will start on 6 November 2014.

The naval exercise will be conducted in Eastern Mediterranean till 14 November 2014. The aim of the exercise is to provide the participants with submarine warfare and anti submarine warfare training.

Besides warships and submarines at least 7 ASW planes 9 ASW helicopters are going to take part in Mavi Balina too.
The below is the list of the participating warships and submarines:

F- TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F- TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F- TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-512 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
F- TCG XXX Corvette Turkey
S- TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S- TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S- TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S- TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör Tanker Turkey
F-247 TCG Kemalreis Frigate Turkey
F-208 FGS Niedersachsen Frigate Germany
FFH-333 HMCS Toronto Frigate Canada
CG-55 USS Leyte Gulf Cruiser USA
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbón Frigate Spain
F-84 ESPS Reina Sofia Frigate Spain
DDG-67 USS Cole Destroyer USA
FFG-260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
S-90 HMS Torbay Submarine United kingdom

According to Turkish Navy besides the above listed units one rapid analysis team from NATO MARCOM and observers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Chile, Georgia, Kuwait, Lebanon will participate in the exercise.

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