Update On Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

With the exception of Bulgarian participants I have more or less the complete list of the participants to this exercise:

Number Name Type Country
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
M-5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
F-222 ROS Regina Maria Frigate Romania
M-30 Alexandru Axente Mine Sweeper Romania
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
CG-72 USS Vella Gulf Cruiser USA

In addition to the above mentioned naval units one P-3 Orion from US Navy and one CN-235 from Turkish Navy are also taking part in the exercise.

Breeze 2014 Naval Exercise

The Bulgarian Navy is hosting a nine day long naval exercise Breeze 2014.

The military exercise is to be held in the Western section of the Black Sea and is aimed at improving the tactical compatibility and collaboration among naval forces of the alliance’s member states.

Bulgaria’s port city of Burgas has peen picked to host the staff of the drills.

While Breeze 2014 is taking place, the staff of the Bulgarian Naval Forces will be certified for conformity of the level of planning independent operations to NATO criteria, according to the website pan.bg, specialized in defense issues.

The exercise, which ends July 13, starts amid stepped-up presence of alliance forces in the Black Sea over the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s decision to incorporate the Crimean peninsula in March this year. 

According to the information I have the following ships are taking part in the exercise:

 Number Name Type Country
F-582 ITS Aviere Frigate Italy
5561 ITS Rimini Mine Hunter Italy
M-37 HSM Chiddingfold Mine Hunter UK
M-270 TCG Akçay Mine Hunter Turkey
P-266 HS Machitis Patrol Craft Greece
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
P-332 TCG Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Turkey
P-1200 TCG Tuzla Patrol Craft Turkey

As always I will appreciate any additional information about the participants.

Here is a nice video showing the arrival of the NATO SNMCMG-2 ships to Burgas.

French Warship FS Alizé Passed Through Bosphorus

KB-14-03-27-Gemi-0002 KB-14-03-27-Gemi-0019 KB-14-03-27-Gemi-0021

Mr. Kerim Bozkurt, an invaluable contributor to this blog also shared his photos of the FS Alizé as she passed through Bosphorus.

She is now in Varna, Bulgaria. According to The Voice of Russia she is going to take part in joint sea rescue exercises.

The photos below are taken from informative blog Sea Dog.

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Bulgaria Sold Its Submarine

The Bulgarian Navy decommissioned its sole Romeo (Project 633) class BNS Slava in 2011 and terminated Bulgaria’s submarine force after 94 years.

According to BlackSeaNews website the decommissioned bulk of the former BNS Slava was sold to a private company for €355 thousand.

The closed bidding Bulgarian submarine “Hope” sold nearly 710 thousand leva (355 euros) with a starting price of BGN 480 thousand (240 thousand euros). Her new owner was a Bulgarian trading company Fintron Bulgaria.

Reported by Ukrinform citing Bulgarian information portal maritime.bg.

According to experts, obsolete underwater vessel in its current state is a scrap. It was sold without weapons and other special equipment. Therefore, if the new owners decide to use a submarine for exotic travel, it will have to invest in its renovation of approximately seven million leva (3.5 million euros).

The former Soviet submarine S-36 was built on the Gorky factory “Red Sormovo” the average torpedo submarine unit. Boat launched on September 27, 1959, commissioned September 30, 1960.June 27, 2008 she was taken out of the Navy in Bulgaria. In April 2009, “Hope” was formally transferred to Varna city authorities to build her museum. But the boat was just standing.

After the withdrawal of November 1, 2011 from the Bulgarian Navy last submarine “Slava” (with the same type it “Hope”), it was decided to create a museum on it, as it is in the best condition.

How will the new owner to use the submarine was not reported.

The Odessey of USS Mount Whitney

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USS Mount Whitney in Batumi. Photo: Samvel S., Batumi, especially for BSNews, used with permission.

The flagship of the 6th Fleet of US Navy, LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney is continuing her cruise in the Black Sea.

She entered the Black Sea on 4 November. Her first port of call was Burgas, Bulgaria.  She spent here 5 days. Her next port of call was Batumi, Georgia where she arrivad on 11 November. After conducting some joint exercises with Georgian naval forces, USS Mount Whitney has left Batumi today.

Of course her next port of call is not available to the public of security reasons.

Let’s see if she will be able to find the golden fleece.

Russian Warship Arrives In Bulgaria For Repairs


Tsezar Kunikov, arriving in Varna. Photo Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

158 Tsezar Kunikov, arriving in Varna. Photo Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.


158 Tsezar Kunikov, arriving in Varna. Photo Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

As reported earlier, the Ropucha class large landing ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet 158 Tsezar Kunikov arrived in Varna, Bulgaria for a refit at Bulgarian Naval shipyard.


More On Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise

The Breeze 2013 Naval Exercise -not to be confused with the Sea Breeze 2013 naval exercise hosted by Ukraine- has started in Varna Bulgaria.

In the period July 6-15 the international Breeze 2013 naval drill will take place in the western part of the Black Sea. Over 15 different vessels, helicopters and planes take part in the exercise. Ships from Spain, Turkey, Greece, as well as a US P-3C Orion plane will take part in the exercise. Improving coordination is one of the tasks of the exercise, which also aims at preparing teams for working in joint international operations in cases of crises.

According to Turkish Naval Forces and Bulgarian Defence Ministry following warships will participate to the exercise:

TCG Salihreis
Blas De Lezo
 Spain Frigate
Fast Attack Craft
TCG 1. İnönü
TCG Bora
Fast Attack Craft
TCG Sığacık
Mine Sweeper
F-42 Verni Bulgaria Frigate

Breeze 2013 Naval Exericse


P-338 TCG Bora will take part in the Bulgarian naval exercise Breeze-2013 in the Black Sea.

Bulgarian Naval Forces are hosting an international naval exercise called Breeze 2013 between 6 and 15 July 2013.

According to Turkish Navy Turkish Gür class (Type 209/1400 Mod) submarine S-360 TCG Birinci İnönü is taking part in the exercise as well as the fast attack craft TCG Bora and the minesweeper TCG Sığacık.

NATO’s SNMG-2 will take part in this exercise along with Bulgarian units.

As Bulgaria decommissioned its last submarine in 2011 Turkey is the only NATO nation in the Black Sea that can provide submarines for the naval exercises.

Russian Warship To Be Repaired In Bulgaria

Russian landing ship Caesar Kunikov in Bosphorus. This is a photo from April 2012 activation of the BlackSeaFor.

I’m sorry for my absence since last Friday. As you might have guess I was, I’m and I will be very much occupied with the things going on in Gezi Parkı, Taksim. Thus I have little time left for the maritime domain.

The Russian Naval portal flot.com posted today that one of the Ropucha class, large landing ships of the Black Sea Fleet 158 Caesar Kunikov will be overhauled in Bulgaria and this despite the ban of sending Russian warships to foreign shipyards for repairs by Vladimir Putin.

Order of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin to ban the repair of warships of the Russian Navy outside the country will not affect the large landing ship (BDK) “Caesar Kunikov,” said the Central Navy Portal source of the Black Sea Fleet. Soon the ship, according to the previously signed contract, will leave the shipyard in Bulgaria. 

According to the source portal, delivery BDK to repair plant is scheduled for early July. Currently, the ship is ready to send, deliver it to the plant by the tug. “Best BDK repair these Polish in Poland, but to drive through Europe – expensive” – shared source TSVMP. Repairs Russian navy warship in Varna will be held in the state debt of Bulgaria to the Soviet Union. Back in April 2013, Vladimir Putin has rejected a proposal by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russia to send warships to renovate on foreign shipyards. How then wrote “The News”, the President instructed to organize the work of a ship repair yards in the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on defense. Presidential Order has called into question the implementation of the signed contract early and the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence shipyard “Naval arsenal” of full restoration of BDK “Caesar Kunikov. BDK The plan was to leave for a two-year overhaul in March 2013. In connection with the presidential decree froze the Navy sent ships to Varna. All the while, “Caesar Kunikov” was in the harbor of Sevastopol, pending a command. In May, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told RIA “Novosti” that each order for shipbuilding and ship repair outside the country will be tested individually.

There a few important information in the short text.
In her current state Caesar Kunikov is not capable to make this short trip of 300 nautical miles from Sevastopol to Varna on her own. She has to be towed. She participated to the April activation of the BlackSeaFor last year and I had the opportunity to visit the ship. The visitors were not allowed to the inside of the ship so I have no idea about the state of her interior. But if a ship becomes inoperable in a year this tells much about the maintenance in Russian Navy.

Another important thing is that Russia is using foreign yard for overhaul or repair its ships. What does this means for the Russian shipbuilding industry? Does it meant that the Russian shipyards are to overloaded with new constructions, that they cannot spare any resources to repair old ships? Or does it mean that the Russian Navy is not satisfied with the quality of the workmanship in Russian shipyards and prefers foreign yards?

Any way you look at it the sight is not pretty.

Turkish Warships Ended Their Visit In Odessa

A-1600 TCG İskenderun enters into port of Odessa. Photo by Vladimir Trofimov, Odessa, specially for BSNews

A-1600 TCG İskenderun enters into port of Odessa. Photo by Vladimir Trofimov, Odessa, specially for BSNews. Used with permission. 

As reported earlier, Turkish Navy training ship A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa and the transporter A-1600 TCG İskenderun made an  official visit to Odessa, Ukraine.

The ships are carrying the students of the Turkish Naval Petty Officer Vocational School. Their first port of call was Samsun, Turkey. The ships will sail to Varna, Bulgaria after leaving Odessa.

The always information website BlackSea News has an excellent post with many photos about this visit of the Turkish ships. 

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