Serial Production Line Qualification Test Of Atmaca Missile

Turkish Navy conducted another live firing of Atmaca anti-ship missile on 18th June 2021.

The test was conducted again at the live-fire exercise area off the coast of the Black Sea town Sinop. The last of the Ada class corvettes, TCG Kınalıada had the honour to do testing. At the receiving end of the missile was this time not a target barge but decommissioned salvage and submarine rescue ship Işın.

The missile used was, assumed to be the first missile from the serial production line. Here are some screen captures from the videos published from the test.


This photo shows Atmaca right before impacting the target ship. The missile is capable of flying very low, making it difficult to differentiate from clutter and engage.

The missile hit the target amidships in the area marked in red. The hole is just above the water level.

The initial videos shared from the test ended when the missile hit the ex Işın, leaving enthusiasts wondering about the size and location of the damage. However, videos showing the damage submerged shortly after.

There is even a video showing the damage the missile has created inside ex Işın. This means that the ship did not sink immediately after the impact. There was enough time for some to go onboard and survey the damage from inside. That is reasonable as ironically it is more difficult to sink an empty ship than one in active service. The striped down hulls have nothing on them. No fuel, no ammunition no warheads or any incendiary material which may create secondary explosions and spread the fire.

When the serial production starts the Atmaca missile will replace the Boenig Harpoon missiles on Turkish warships probably on a one-to-one basis. This will need some changes in combat management systems to incorporate the new missile into existing software. The Ada class corvettes are the most likely candidates as the Genesis CMS is made by Havelsan. Thus this CMS is the easiest one to add the Atmaca. The next ships equipped with Atmaca might be the Barbaros class frigates that will receive the mid-life upgrade program or the Istanbul class frigates whichever comes first. Both classes of ships will again locally developed CMS making it very easy to add the new missile.

Ever since the long-range anti-ship missiles replaced the guns as the main offensive weapons, having total control and command on every aspect of this weapon has become vitally important for the war-fighter. By replacing the foreign missiles with local ones Turkish Navy will be able to trust that its punch will find its mark.

TCG Istanbul Launched

TCG Istanbul during the launching ceremony. Photo: Turkish MoD.

The first İstif class frigate TCG Istanbul was launched on 23 January 2021 at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

The first TCG Istanbul was ex USS Clarence K. After 35 years finally, there will be another TCG Istanbul. TCG Istanbul is the first ship of a class of four. The other ships will be named İzmir, İzmit, and İçel and all will be known as the Istif class. According to Commander of Turkish General Staff, General Yaşar Güler, the remaining three ships are planned to be completed by 2027.  The Istif class ships will replace the four Yavuz MEKO 200 class ships nearing the end of their usefulness.

The frigate has an overall length of 113,2 meters and a width of 14,40 meters. The frigates of Istif class will be multi-role warships. The ship’s main offensive weapons will be 16 Atmaca anti-ship missiles. While the details of the final configuration of the air defence missiles have not been disclosed, these frigates will have a locally designed vertical missiles launcher. TCG Istanbul will be fitted with a 76mm main gun and a 35mm Gökdeniz close-in weapon system.

The calculated range of TCG Istanbul at economical speed is 5700 nautical miles. The ship has one LM2500 gas turbine and two diesel engines as the main machinery propelling the frigate up to 26 knots. The design of the frigate is based on the Ada class corvettes. The superstructure of the frigate is also very similar to the corvette with the exception of the mainmast.

The mast on Istif class is higher and has space for different electronics. The Istif class frigates will carry one 3D search radar, probably Smart-S Mk2, two AKR-D fire control radars, and one LPI navigation radar. For electronic reconnaissance and warfare, the frigates will have ARES 2N ESM and AREAS-2N ECM systems.  Piri IRST system will provide infra-red search and tracking on board.

Gas Turbines For The Fast Fleet Replenishment Tanker

A CGI image of the Fleet Replenishment Tanker.

General Electric has announced that it will provide two LM2500 marine gas turbines for the new Fleet Replenishment Tanker of the Turkish Navy.

While it is not common to install expensive gas turbines to supply ships, the Turkish Navy required a fast tanker to keep up with the frigates and replenish them. Thus the new fleet tanker is getting LM2500’s.

A contract for the construction of the Fleet Replenishment Tanker was signed between Sefine Shipyard in Yalova in July 2017. The ship will provide fuel, water, food, spare parts, medical supplies and ammunition for the combat ships

She is expected to enter service in 2023.

Characteristics:
Length: 194.8 meters
Width: 24.4 meters
Displacement: 22,000 tons
Cruising Range: 4500 nautical miles (NM)
Length of the Sea:> 30 days
Economic Life:> 30 years

PNS Yarmook Spotted On Her Delivery Voyage



The newest warship of Pakistani Navy PNS Yarmook sailed southbound through Istanbul this afternoon. This is the first time that the vessel passed through Istanbul. This is her delivery voyage to Pakistan.

The Pakistani OPV was built in Damen Shipyard, in Galati Romania, the first ship of a class of two. PNS Yarmook was commissioned in Pakistani service with a ceremony held on 13th February in Constanta Romania. The 2300 tonnes vessel is based on Damen OPV 1900 class and has a length of 90 meters and a beam of 14,4 meters.

Damen will deliver the second vessel PNS Tabuk in May 2020.

These vessels will be able to perform a variety of maritime operations and can transport both a helicopter and a UAV. The ship can launch two high-speed RHIBs of 11.5 meters and 6.5 meters simultaneously and also has the capability to accommodate two 20 feet TEUs for mission-based operations.

TCG Kınalıada Joins Turkish Navy

TCG Kınalıada in Istanbul Naval Shipyard. This photo was taken on May 2019 by Gökhan Karakaş.

The fourth and the final Ada class Corvette TCG Kınalıada was commissioned to the Turkish Navy on 29th September 2019.

TCG Kınalıada has entered into service 8 years after the first ship of the class was commissioned. Her entry also means the completion of Milgem class corvette production for the Turkish Navy.

On the outside, TCG Kınalıada may very much look like the first ship TCG Heybeliada, but she incorporates significant improvements reflecting the advance of the Turkish defense industry during the last decade:

  1. TCG Kınalıada is the first ship ever to be fitted with the indigenous Atmaca anti-ship missile. The corvette is expected to conduct a live firing of the missile in November. When officially commissioned Atmaca will be fitted back to the existing warships in the inventory.
  2. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada are fitted with Aselsan Seaeye-Ahtapot electro-optic sensor on the aft mast while the previous ships use Aselflir 300. Aselflir 300 was originally designed for airborne platforms and was installed without much modification for a service on a warship. Thus the meantime between regular maintenance is quite short for a maritime system and the whole sensor must be taken down for the maintenance. These shortcomings are rectified in Seaeye-Ahtapot. It has a better tracking range and resolution.
  3. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada have Aselsan made Hızır countermeasure system for torpedo attacks.  The system consists of two decoy launchers on both sides of the funnel and one towed array and decoy. Though the system is very similar to a torpedo countermeasure system SeaSentor manufactured by Ultra, used the other ships. The logistics of a locally constructed system is preferred by the end-user.
  4. Another important change inside TCG Kınalıada is the new Genesis Advent combat management system with network-enabled capability. This new CMS has native data link capability and can manage Link 11,16 and 22 at the same time. It increases situational awareness. When ships are installed with Genesis Advent they will be able not only to see and share the same tactical picture but also to control and train each other’s sensors and weapon systems.

When I was watching the commissioning ceremony, I couldn’t stop thinking about, what would have happened, if the tender for the construction of 6 Milgem class, won by RMK Marine Shipyard had not been canceled back in 2013. Since the cancelation of the project happened before the completion of the contract negotiation thus we will never know the planned delivery dates. But surely we would have 2 to 3 more Milgem type corvettes in inventory as we do have now.

Even the best ship cannot be in two places at the same time.  And we need more warships now both to rejuvenate our aging fleet and to protect our interest in the blue homeland.

An Afternoon On TCG Burgazada

TCG Burgazada. The third Milgem class corvette.

TCG Burgazada. The third Milgem class corvette.

During the IDEF 2019 defense exhibition last week I had the privilege to visit TCG Burgazada.

TCG Burgazada is the third of the four Ada class corvettes. She was commissioned on 4th November 2018 and is the newest warship of the Turkish Navy.

Turkish Navy always considered the first two ships as prototypes. The lessons learned in constructing and using these ships were to be incorporated in the subsequent ships as there were under construction. Thus TCG Burgazada is slightly updated compared to TCG Heybeliada and TCG Büyükada, though these changes are subtle and mostly not visible from the outside at all.

One exception is the new Aselsan Seaeye-Ahtapot electro-optic sensor on the aft mast while the previous ships use Aselflir 300. Aselflir 300 was originally designed for airborne platforms and was installed without much modification. Thus the mean time between regular maintenance is quite short for a maritime system and the whole sensor must be taken down for the maintenance. These shortcomings are rectified in Seaeye-Ahtapot and the operators are quite happy with its performance. But Aselsan needs to come up with a better and catchier name.

The other changes are under the skin. The main machinery has 10.000 more horsepower making TCG Burgazada faster than the other Ada class ships.

TCG Burgazada has Aselsan made Hızır countermeasure system for torpedo attacks. She is the first ship to be fitted with this system. The system consists of two decoy launchers on both sides of the funnel and one towed array and decoy. Though the system is very similar to Ultra built torpedo countermeasure system used on the other ships I believe the logistics of a locally built system is preferred by the end user.

One could still get “the new ship smell” when walking through the passageways.

I wish fair winds and following seas to TCG Burgazada and her crew.

TCG Anadolu Has Been Floated

TCG Anadolu, temporarily in her element. Photo: Ali Özkök

TCG Anadolu has been floated on 4th May 2019. It is important to note that it is a technical procedure and not the official launching of the ship.

TCG Anadolu is being constructed on a floating dock and the keel blocks under her hull need to be relocated. She will be taken back to the dock after the keel blogs have been relocated and the construction will continue.

The ship was floated 4 days after she suffered a fire. The fire broke out as some isolation material caught fire when welding was done nearby. Although there is no visible damage from the outside, the fire must have damaged the parts of the ship. Since the construction of the ship continues the repair of the damaged parts won’t be much difficult.

First Logistic Support Ship On Builders Trials

First, of the two logistic support ships, A-574 TCG Yüzbaşı Güngör Durmuş has started her shipyard trials. These two ships will be a welcomed addition to the existing fleet of tankers and replenishment ships of the Turkish Navy.

These ships do not have a rig for underway replenishment alongside but will be able to stream a fuel hose astern for a more old fashioned way.

TCG Yüzbaşı Güngör Durmuş is constructed by Selah Shipyard and should have been handed over to the Navy 18 months ago.

Korkut-D Air Defence System Remodeled

Left, a screen capture of TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa as she is transiting through Istanbul. Note there is no 100mm gun or the Korkut-D CIWS at the aft of the ship. Right, an archive photo of the Korkmaz on board of the ship from 2018.

Today TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa made a northbound passage through Istanbul. This ship was built for Germany Navy as FGS Donau, by Schlichting-Werft in Travemünde as a tender for fast attack boats. She was transferred to the Turkish Navy in 1995 to replace the old ship of the same name.

TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa was selected as a test platform for the Korkut-D close-in weapon system. In 2018 the 100mm gun turret at the aft of the ship on X position was replaced with a Korkut-D mount and a 3D radar mast. As the ship passed today the Korkut-D system was no longer on board meaning the test are officially over. It was interesting to note that the original gun mount was not replaced.

Left, the Korkut-D mount during the test on board of TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa. The fire control radar is on the mount while the 3D search radar is on a separate mast. Right, rendering of the remodeled Korkut-D mounts with and without the 3D radar.

It is quite easy to fit a weapon system to the ships which are on the design table. We will see Korkut-D on the future Turkish warships if the Turkish Navy is satisfied with the end product. But it is much more difficult to retrofit a new weapon system such as Korkut-D to existing ships. It should not penetrate decks, not worsen the stability of the ship and not add too much weight.

Aselsan, the manufacturer of the Korkut-D CIWS system seems to have remodeled the mount. During the tests, the original Korkut-D mount has only the fire control system mounted on the turret while the 3D search radar was on a separate mast. It was at the end of the turret and on the center as the guns were quite forward. On the remodeled turret, the fire control system is located to the left side of the turret and the guns seem to be moved a little to the back more towards the center of the turret. The new configuration will no doubt have shortened the overall length of the system making it easier to fit into smaller spaces and increased the possibility of changing the legacy close-in weapon system on older warships with Korkut-D.

TCG Ufuk Launched

The previously unnamed test and evaluation ship has now a name and a pennant number: A-591 TCG Ufuk.

The ship, the first one in Turkish Navy to bear that name, was launched on 9th February 2019.

TCG Ufuk shows a striking resemblance to Ada class corvettes. Even some main physical attributes like the length, width, drought of the ships are the same. Here is a comparison chart:

TCG Ufuk Ada Class
Length (meters) 99,5 99,5
Width (meters) 14,4 14,4
Draft (meters) 3,6 3,9
Displacement (tons) 2400 2300
Speed (knots) 18+ 29

Two most obvious differences between this ship and the Ada class corvettes are that that TCG Ufuk doesn’t have any weapons.  The test and evaluation ship does have a flight deck to support 10-tonne class helicopters but does not have a hangar.

According to news reports, TCG Ufuk will have an all diesel main propulsion whereas the Ada class ships have a combined gas turbine and diesel engines as main propulsion. The top speed is given as 18+ knots, which is considerably slower than 29 knots top speed of Ada class corvettes.

During the launching ceremony, the President of Turkey Mr. Erdoğan told that this ship was the first intelligence gathering ship built by national means and mentioned the importance of signal intelligence.

The intelligence gathering mission of this ship may explain why the ship will have a 100 tons more displacement compared to Ada class corvettes despite having no weapons and the sensors associated with fire control and why its construction was not published much compared to other defense industry projects.

The commissioning of TCG Ufuk is scheduled for July 2020.

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