Proud Manta 2012

It is once again time for the NATO’s biggest anti submarine warfare (ASW) exercise Proud Manta.

From 14-26 February 2012, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. will provide 5 submarines, 15 aircraft and 12 surface ships take part in  this exercise. The exercise will take place in the Ionian Sea to the southeast of Sicily.

The NATO’s own research ship A-1456 Alliance will participate to the exercise as well as ASW planes from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and USA. The UK will only provide 2 EH-101 ASW helicopters.

The exercise will demonstrate NATO’s determination to maintain proficiency and improve interoperability in coordinated anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, coastal surveillance and other maritime operations using a multi-national force of ships, submarines and aircraft.  Furthermore it will aim to provide operational training in potential NRF tasks/roles and missions as well as exercising the procedures for current or future operations. The units will also be exercised in defence against terrorism operations.

Order of Battle for Proud Manta 12 is:

Surface Ships
FFG-339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
D-643 FS Jean De Vienne Destroyer France
F-209 FGS Rheinland-Pflaz Frigate Germany
A-1443 FGS Rhön Replenishment Tanker Germany
D-561 ITS Francesco Mimbelli Destroyer Italy
F-576 ITS Espero Frigate Italy
A-5352 ITS Lipari Tender Italy
A-5366 ITS Levanzo Tender Italy
F-804 HNLMS De Ruyter Frigate Netherlands
CG-72 USS Vella  Gulf Cruiser USA
DGG-68 USS The Sullivans Destroyer USA
FGG-45 USS De Wert Frigate USA
Submarines
S-605 FS Améthyste Rubis/Améthyste cl. France
S-111 NS Nirefs Type 209/1100 Mod. Greece
S-527 ITS Sciré Type 212A Italy
S-71 SPS Galerna Agosta S70 Spain
S-357 TCG Gür Type 209 /1400 Turkey

Click for previous years Proud Manta Exercise News.

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.

>NATO Is Preparing For Proud Manta 2011

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The biggest NATO anti submarine warfareexercise Proud Manta (previously known as  NOBLE MANTA) will be conducted in the Ionian Sea to theSoutheast of Sicily between 4 – 17 February 2011.

Ten NATO nations, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will provide 6submarines, 19 aircraft (including ship based helos) and 8 surface ships.

According to NATO the aim of theexercise is to enhance the operational proficiency andinteroperability of the participating forces across a broad spectrumof potential tasks, roles and missions of the NATO Response Force(NRF). The exercise also provides a challenging operationalenvironment to test new doctrine, tactics; and equipment.Participants will practice the tactics and techniques currently beingused in ongoing NATO operations such as Active Endeavour and Ocean Shield as well as other war fighting skills to maintain the high levelof readiness expected of NATO forces.

Order of Battle for Proud Manta 11 is:

Surface Ships
F-930 BNS Leopold 1 Frigate Belgium
D-641 FS Dupleix Destroyer France
F-214 FGC Lübeck Frigate Germany
D-554 ITS Caio Duilio Destroyer Italy
A-5326 ITS Etna Replenishment Tanker Italy
F-575 ITS Euro Frigate Italy
A-5366 ITS Levanzo Tender Italy
DGG-55 USS Stout Destroyer USA

Submarines
S-113 HS Proteus Type 209 / 1100 Greece
S-73 SPS Mistral Agosta Spain
S-524 ITS Longobardo Imp. Sauro Italy
S-354 TCG Sakarya Type 209 / 1400 Turkey
S-349 TCG Batıray Type 209 / 1200 Turkey
SSN-691 USS Memphis Los Angeles USA

>Turkish ASW Plane Spotted In Malta

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According to Air Forces Monthly magazine, Turkish Navy CN-235 MPA plane, TCB-652, now  with French test registration was photographed visiting Malta, back in November 2010.

Two years after the first flight of the aircraft the tests are still continuing.

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.

Turkish Airforce operates 50 CN-235 planes for troop and VIP transport, SIGINT/ELINT and CSAR missions. When this plane was chosen for the Meltem (I) project this decision was criticised.

The critics stated that CN-235 was not able to fulfill the operational demands of Turkish Navy as her performance was not up to this demands. When ATR-72 ASW plane was chosen from Meltem (III) the claims of the opponents seemed to be right.

Turkish Navy retired its last Grumman S-2E Tracker ASW planes 16 years ago and urgently 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.

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