Breeze 2016 Naval Exercise

Bulgaria is hosting the Breeze 2016 naval exercise from 8. July till 17. July 2016.

As many as 25 naval vessels from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Spain and Turkey, two aircraft and two helicopters, and 1700 troops will take part in the exercise.

Turkish led NATO mine task force SNMCMG-2 is also in Bulgaria for this occasion.

This is the list of the participating warship That I could find:

Number Name Nation Type
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Tender
M-260 TCG Edincik Turkey Mine hunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Mine hunter
62 ROM Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Romania Mine sweeper
 S-356 TCG Anafartalar Turkey Submarine
P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ Turkey Patrol boat
P-337 TCG Atak Turkey Fast attack craft
F-222 ROM  Regina Maria Romania Frigate
190 ROM Lastunul Romania Corvette
P-70 HS Y. Grigorpoulos Greece Fast attack craft

Russian Submarine Stary Oskol Passed Through Bosphorus

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Russian submarine Stary Oskol passing through Istanbul.

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Russian submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by Turkish ASW boat P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ during the submarines passage through Istanbul. Frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for the submarine at the northern entrance of the Strait.

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Stary Oskol is the third improved Kilo class submarine assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.

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On 29 June 2016, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Stary Oskol made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.
She is the third of a four Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first pair of these submarines, Novorossiysk and Rostov-na-Donu are already been commissioned.

With the arrival of this boat, the number of submarines in Russian Black Sea Fleet has increased to four: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk, Rostav-na-Donu and Stary Oskol.

During her passage through Istanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tekirdağ. Turkish frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for her at the northern enterance of the Istanbul Strait.

Romania Is Set To Modernize Its Frigates

Romanian frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand on her way to home. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

Romanian frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand on her way to home. A 2012 photo by Kerim Bozkurt.

Romania has officially started the modernization process of her 2 Type-22 frigates on 16 March 2016.

Like Bulgaria, Romania too needed modern, up to date and NATO compatible warships when both countries joined NATO. While Bulgaria opted to buy second hand frigates and mine hunter from Belgium, Romania bought two Type-22 frigates from Great Britain in 2003.

The frigates ROS Regina Maria (ex London) and ROS Regele Ferdinand (ex Coventry) were overhauled in UK before their delivery to Romania. They were transferred armed with only guns and torpedoes The frigates lack long-range offensive weapons and adequate air defence systems. The new contract will allow this deficiencies to be fixed. The vaule of the contract is estimared by Romanian MoD at 839 million Lei, without VAT  aproximatel Euro 190 million.

According to the published information the modernization will be done in Romania. The frigates will be fitted with anti ship missiles, anti air missiles and guns or short range missiles for self protection. And all of these new weapons and sensors will be integrated to the combat information system.

According to a press MapN Wednesday, the procedure for the award of the contract is “restricted procedure”, organized under the Emergency Ordinance no. 114/2011 regarding the award of certain public contracts in the fields of defense and security.

Through this contract, the frigates “King Ferdinand” and “Queen Mary” will be equipped with anti-aircraft missile, rocket antinavă and gun systems and / or missile for missile defense antinavă, and sensors with superior performance (radar, electronooptici and towed sonar). They will be integrated into a computerized system of Fight Management, Modern, which will enable it to perform the full range of specific missions frigates.

Modernization of vessels will be made compulsorily in Romania, as a requirement of security of supply, according to art. 1 para. (1) and art. 50 of GEO. 114/2011, in conjunction with art. 346 par. (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union it is approved by CSAT memorandum entitled: multiannual program “multipurpose frigate – the second stage of modernization”.

Bulgaria Plans To Buy 2 New Warships In 6 Years Time

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Bulgarian frigate Verni. She is nearing her obsolescence. Here is a photo of her from 5 years ago

According to Sofia News Agency, Bulgarian defence minister Nikolay Nenchev announced that Bulgaria was planing to spend up to $477.80 million to procure two multi purpose warships.

The procurement cost, which comprises armaments, equipment and communication systems for the ships, could be one-third lower if the vessels were built in Bulgaria, Nenchev said during a visit to the Black Sea city of Varna on Thursday, according to a statement of the Defence Ministry.

“Within three-and-a half to six years the Navy will have two completed vessels,” Nenchev said.
The project will be submitted to Parliament in the next few days and the lawmakers are expected to approve it by the end of May, Nenchev added.
Preliminary talks have already been held with EU and NATO member states about potential acquisition of patrol ships, according to the statement.

It is the high time for Bulgaria to invest in new warships to protect her interests in the Black Sea.

The Bulgarian Navy has terminated its submarine service after 94 years and decommissioned her sole submarine in 2011. The 3 Wielingen class frigates and one Tripartite class mine hunter all bought from Belgium are the only new warships commissioned into naval service since the end of the Cold War. Thus around the year 2022 when the above mentioned two new warships are commissioned, the 3 Wielingen frigates Drazki, Verni and Gordi will be almost 45 years old.

I do not think Turkey’s burgeoning naval ship building industry despite its close geographical location will have much chance to win the bid for these ships. French, Dutch or German companies may have an advantage here.

Ukrainian Warships Paid a Short Visit To Istanbul

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Hetman Sahaidachny (left), TCG Salihreis (middle) Balta (right) in Istanbul.

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TCG Salihreis (left) and Hetman Sahaidachny (right) in Istanbul. Photo: Deniz Yaman.

Ukrainian warships Hetman Sahaidachny and Balta made a short port visit to Istanbul today.

Both ships passed through Istanbul Strait on 7th March 2016 and sailed to main Turkish Navy base in Gölcük, Kocaeli. There the ships have conducted joint exercises with Turkish warships.

The frigate Hetman Sahaidachny and the degaussing ship Balta arrived on the morning of 10th March 2016 accompanied by Turkish frigate TCG Salihreis to Istanbul. Balta left for Ukraine in a few hours later whereas the frigate stayed longer. The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who is in Turkey for an official visit, visited the frigate.

President Petro Poroshenko visited flagship of the Ukrainian Naval Forces Hetman Sahaidachny frigate that takes part in the common training with the Naval Forces of Turkey in the Sea of Marmara.
Commander of the sea campaign Dmytro Hlukhov and commander of the frigate Denys Ivanin demonstrated the equipment and mobile military hospital provided by the Turkish side.
Ukraine will receive 5 such hospitals. They will be relocated to the sectors of responsibility in the ATO area after the return of Hetman Sahaidachny frigate to Ukraine.
The President emphasized that such mobile hospitals were essentially important in the ATO area. He called them the evidence of partnership relations between the two states. “Earlier, we received them from the United States, Canada and Australia. It emphasizes strategic character of our relations,” the Head of State noted.

Later in the afternoon, Hetman Sahaidachny departed with two containers on her flight deck to Ukraine.

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 Submarine Rostav-na-Donu Passed Through Bosphorus

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Rostav-na-Donu passing by Topkapı Palace.

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Rostav-na-Donu passing through Istanbul.

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The submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-90.

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A close up view of Rostav-na-Donu.

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Rostav-na-Donu, was trailed by Turkish Tuzla class ASW patrol boat TCG Tuzla during her passage through Bosphorus.

Last Sunday, on 13 December 2015, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Rostav-na-Donu made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.

She is the second of a four boat of the six Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first of these submarines, Novorossiysk has already been commissioned.

Rostav-na-Donu made headlines before her arrival. 4 days prior her passage she has fired undisclosed amount 3M-14 submarine launched cruise missiles to targets in Syria.  With the arrival of this boat, Russian Black Sea Fleet operates three submarines: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk and  Rostav-na-Donu.

During her passage thourg IStanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-90 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tuzla.

Russian Submarine Novorossiysk Passed Through Bosphorus

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Novorossiysk passing by the Hagia Sophia as she enteres the Bosphorus.

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Novorossiysk on Istanbul Strait.

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A close-up to her sail.

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A bow view of Novorossiysk. On her left is the TCSG-10 from Turkish Coast Guard. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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A bow view of Novorossiysk. TCG Tekirdağ can be clearly seen following the submarine. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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The salvage and mooring ship Sayany seen during her northbound passage.

The Kilo class submarine Novorossiysk and her escort the salvage ship Sayany passed through Istanbul yesterday.

Novorossiysk is a newly build submarine and is the first of the 6 submarines Russia wants to deploy to the Black Sea Fleet. Currently only one Kilo class submarine Alrosa is operational in the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Although her design is dated Novorossiysk was laid down in 2010 and launched in 2013. She was commissioned in Russian Navy in August 2014.

Alrosa returned to the Black Sea on 19 September 2011 after a lengthy overhaul. She was damaged by a fire in her engine department.

Novorossiysk had a considerable entourage when she passed through the Bosphorus. TCSG-10, a small Turkish Coast Guard vessel provided her close security while Tuzla class ASW patrol boat TCG Tekirdağ, trailed her. The last ship of the entourage was the Russian salvage and mooring ship Sayany. She belongs to the Russian Pacific Fleet but escorted Novorossiysk on her maiden deployment from Malta.

Deniz Yıldızı 2015 Exercise Completed

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F-502 TCG Bandırma returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Large landing ship NL-125 TCG Osmangazi making a southbound passage (returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise!?) through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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F-491 TCG Gemlik returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Tanker A-573 Binbaşı Sadettin Gürcan returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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F-500 TCG Bozcaada returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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The oldest vessel in commission in Turkish Navy, A-578 TCG Gazal returning from the Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise.

The Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise ended on 16 April 2015 and the participants returned to their home ports.

According to the Turkish Navy website following units took part 6 frigates, 3 corvettes, 5 fast attack craft, 2 submarines, 7 auxiliaries, 2 patrol boats, 3 maritime surveillance planes, 7 helicopters.

I was able to identify 18 warships of out indicated 23. Here is the list:

Number Name Type
A572 TCG Yüzbaşı İhsan Tolunay Tanker
A573 TCG Binbaşı Sadettin Gürcan Tanker
A587 TCG Gazal Tug
A595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör Tanker
AXXX Auxiliary
F240 TCG Yavuz Frigate
F241 TCG Turgutreis Frigate
F243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate
F245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate
F246 TCG Salihreis Frigate
F493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate
F500 TCG Bozcada Corvette
F502 TCG Bandırma Corvette
F511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette
P12XX Patrol Boat
P12XX Patrol Boat
P330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack craft
P332 TCG Mızrak Fast attack craft
P335 TCG İmbat Fast attack craft
P336 TCG Zıpkın Fast attack craft
P337 TCG Atak Fast attack craft
SXXX Submarine
SXXX Submarine

Click here for the photos of the frigates and fast attack craft participating in the exercise.

Turkish Navy Conducts Deniz Yıldızı 2015 Exercise

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TCG Oruçreis saling to the Black Sea.

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TCG Salihreis on her way to the Black Sea.

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TCG Turgutreis making her northbound passage in IStanbul.

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TCG Yavuz at night, on her way to the Black Sea.

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TCG Atak making her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Kılıç sailing to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Mızrak heading to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Zıpkın making her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Bozcaada heading to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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TCG Bandırma making her northbound passage. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

 

On 6 April 2015 we had witnessed northbound passage of a large number of Turkish warships, 5 frigates, 2 corvettes, 4 fast attack craft in total. The reason is the start of the Deniz Yıldızı 2015 naval exercise in Black Sea.

According to the Turkish Navy website following units will take part in the exercise: 6 frigates, 3 corvettes, 5 fast attack craft, 2 submarines, 7 auxiliaries, 2 patrol boats,  3 maritime surveillance planes, 7 helicopters helicopters.  From Coast Guard 2 OPV’s, 4 cutters and 1 SAR helicopter will participate in the exercise.

The exercise is scheduled to end on 16 April. On 11 April the participating ships will make port visits in several Black Sea towns.

This is the list of the participants as far as I could find:

Number Name Type
A-573 TCG Binbaşı Saadettin Gürcan Tanker
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
A-XXX Auxiliary
F-240 TCG Yavuz Frigate
F-241 TCG Turgutreis Frigate
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate
F-246 TCG Salihreis Frigate
F-500 TCG Bozcaada Corvette
F-502 TCG Bandırma Corvette
F-XXX Corvette
F-XXX Frigate
F-XXX Frigate
P-330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack craft
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast attack craft
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Fast attack craft
P-337 TCG Atak Fast attack craft
P-XXX Fast attack craft
P-XXX Patrol boat
P-XXX Patrol boat
S-XXX Submarine
S-XXX Submarine
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