New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

TCB701 kopya

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.

TCB652 kopya

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

The Construction Of The Multipurpose Amphibious Assault Ship TCG Anadolu Has Started

L-408 TCG Anadolu.

The model of TCG Anadolu taken during the IDEF 2015 defence exibition.

The construction of the multipurpose amphibious assault ship L-408 TCG Anadolu has started on 30th April 2016.

The ship is based on Navatia’s Juan Carlos 1 design. TCG Anadolu will be similar to SPS Juan Carlos 1 in Spanish Navy and HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Canberra in Royal Australian Navy.

During the ceremony President of Turkish Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made a speech.  During his speech he stated that TCG Anadolu will be the first ship in Turkish Navy from which F-35B SVTOL planes will operate. This is the first time official declaration of the long known desire of Turkey to operate fixed wing planes from her ships. This statement also made it clear that Turkey will procure F-35B planes along with her order of F-35A planes.

In his speech Mr. Erdoğan also asked the announced delivery time of 5,5 years to be shortened to 4 years and stated that if TCG Anadolu can be delivered in 4 years, more ships –though not clearly stating which class- will be ordered.

Unlike her nears sisters in Spanish and Australian navies the Turkish ship will only have diesel engines. There will be five MAN 16V32/40 engines each creating 7.680kW and propelling the ship up to 21 knots. The range is estimated to be 9.000 nautical miles.

The ship will have one Mk-49 launcher for Rolling Airframe Missile, 2 Mk-15 Phalanx Block 1B CIWS, 5 Stabilized Gun platforms probably armed with 25mm gun for self-defence.

The ship will carry 6 F-35B Lightning II planes 4 T-129 ATAK attack helicopters 8 cargo helicopters 2 S-70B Seahawk helicopters and 2 UAVs.

The contract for this project was signed on 7 May 2015 during the IDEF 2015. The delivery scheduled for 2021 but this may be shortened.

When completed she will be the largest warship of Turkish Navy. Being the capital ship she will be the apple of the Turkish Navy. At the same the she will be the most wanted target for other navies. It is about time that other ship building projects especially about ships that will escort and protect TCG Anadolu must start. As an example, the two other navies operating similar ships have initiated AEGIS based air defence destroyers -not to anyones surprise designed in Spain- to escort their amphibious assault ships.

Turkish Navy has long been working on TF-2000 air defence destroyer program. According to preliminary plans the ship will be about 150 meters long and will have displacement between 7.000 and 8.000 tons. Her primary sensor and weapon systems are yet to be determined. Turkish defence electronics company ASELSAN is developing a phased array radar system to be used by the navy.

Large capital ships like TCG Anadolu never sail alone. They are always dispatched with a number of escorts whose main mission is to protect the capital ship no matter what the cost. The ability of current frigates of Turkish Navy which will be tasked with the protection of TCG Anadolu when she is completed may not be sufficient to counter all the treats they will face in the near  future. Therefore more advanced ships with complex sensor systemns and long range missiles are needed. And this need is getting urgent with every passing day.

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Technical specifications of TCG Anadolu.

New Constructions For Turkish Navy

CDY_8406

This photo show 4 new constructions for Turkish Navy.

The two large rescue ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın, the submarine rescue ship TCG Alemdar and the new LST, TCG Bayraktar can be seen on the above photo. They are in different phases of construction.

TCG Alemdar was first to be launched in May 2014. She was followed by TCG Işın in June 2014 and TCG Akın in September 2014. The first ship supposed to be delivered in 2015 but apparently there has been some delays in the project. These 3 ships are very complex due to the  highly technical and very specialised rescue and salvage equipment they are going to carry. The procurement and implementation of these highly complex devices is in the hands of the shipyard. Since this project is first it’s kind, some unseen problems may be natural.

TCG Bayraktar is the first of the two new landing ships Turkish Navy has ordered. She was launched in October 2015. When finished, she will carry 350 persons, 20 MBT and between 24 – 60 vehicles. The closed parking area is 1100 square meters and the open deck parking area is 690 square meters. After TCG Bayraktar was launched, the construction of the second ship TCG Sancaktar has commenced on the slipway.

 

 

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.

Turkish Coast Guard Order Of Battle

A few weeks earlier I have compiled the order of battle of Turkish Navy here. This is the order of battle for Turkish Coast Guard:

Active Building Planned
Offshore patrol vessels 4
Large patrol craft 58
Small patrol craft 47
Control craft 85
Search and rescue craft 44
Helicopters 14
Planes 3

A detailed version of the above list:

Active Building Planned
Dost class off shore patrol vessels 4
Type 80 class 18
Sar 35 class 4
Sar 33 class 10
Türk class 4
Kaan 33 class 13
Kaan 29 class 9
Kaan 19 class 17
Kaan 15 class 18
Piket  class 2
Hector 42 class 10
Saget class 23
Various RHIP type craft 62
Search and rescue craft 44
AB-412 helicopters 14
CN-235 MPA planes 3

For more information about the future shipbuilding project for Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard, here is an interesting read.

Turkish Navy Order Of Battle

It has been a while since I have last updated the order of battle for Turkish Navy. Here is the current one:

Active Building Planned
Submarines (Note-1) 13 1 5
Frigates (Note-2) 16 8
Corvettes 8 2
Fast Attack Craft – Missile (Note-3) 21 4
Patrol Craft (Note-4) 34
Mine hunters/Mine sweepers (Note-5) 15 6
LPD (Note-6)  1 1
LST 4 2
LCT/LCU/LCM/LCAC (Note-7) 33  8
Fleet Support Tankers (Note-8) 2 2 1
Tankers / Replenishment Ships 4
Training Ships (Note-9) 10 2
Salvage Ships 2 3
Helicopters (Note-10) 33 6
Planes 8 6

A detailed version of the above list:

Active Building Planned
209 Type 1400 submarines 8
209 Type 1200 submarines 5
214 Type 1800 submarines 1 5
MEKO 200 class frigates 8
Gabya (Perry) class frigates 8
TF-2000 class frigates 4
İstif class frigates 4
Milgem class corvettes 2 2
Burak (Type A 69) class corvettes 6
Kılıç class fast attack craft 9
Yıldız class fast attack craft 2
Doğan class fast attack craft 8
Kartal class fast attack craft 2
Turkish type fast attack craft 4
Tuzla class patrol craft 16
Patrol craft 18
Aydın class minehunters 6
Edincik (Circé) class minehunters 5
Mine hunters/sweepers 4 6
LPD  1 1
LST 4 2
LCT/LCU/LCM/LCAC 33  8
Support tankers 6 2 1
Training ships 10 2
Salvage ships 2 3
AB-212 ASW helicopters 9
S-70B ASW helicopters 24
ATR-72 ASW planes 2 6
CN-235 ASW planes 6

Note 1: The construction of the first Type 214 class submarine TCG Pirireis has started on 10th October 2015.
Note 2: The second batch of 4 Ada class corvettes has been enlarged to the new İstif class frigates.
Note 3: Procurement of 4 (plus 6 optional) fast attack of local design armed with missiles is planned.
Note 4: Turkish Navy decommissioned a number of older patrol boats as new boats are commissioned. Thus the real number may less than 34.
Note 5: The procurement of 6 new mine sweepers is planned.
Note 6: The construction of the first LPD TCG Anadolu will start in Autumn 2016.
Note 7: 6 LCM and 2 LCAC may be procured with the LPD but the acquisition of these smaller vessels is not definite yet.
Note 8:Two oil tankers are constructed by a private shipyard. Additionally procurement of one fleet replenishment ship is planed.
Note 9: It is planned to acquire two sailing training ships.
Note 10: The AB-212 helicopter are most used for utility duties. 6 additional Seahawk have been ordered.

For more information about the future shipbuilding project for Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard, here is an interesting read.

 

New Boats For Qatari Naval Forces

CDY_3864

A new batch boats are being built for Qatar.

Q21

A close-up view of Q21

Q21_1

Another view of the new boat. 

Yonca Onuk Shipyard is constructing a new batch of fast intervention boats for Qatari Naval Forces.

The boat I have seen Q-21 resembles very much to the other MRTP-16 type of boats built by the same shipyard 3 years ago.

During the Dimdex 2012 maritime defence exhibition in Qatar, it was announced that the Turkish shipyard Yonca Onuk has signed a contract to construct  3 MRTP 16 class interceptors and 3 MRTP 34 class fast patrol boats for the Qatar Naval Forces. These boats were delivered since then.

The boat Q-21 must the one of the new batch but I have no information how many boats will be built in this batch.

 

Future Shipbuilding Projects For Turkish Navy And Coast Guard

One of the most interesting presentations of the 7. Naval System Seminar was done by Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI). The topic of it was the future shipbuilding projects.

The organisers of Naval System Seminar prepared a CD containing the presentations done during it. It is a useful thing if you want to reread any particular presentation(s) later at home.

However the UDI was either too lazy or too arrogant to send the presentation to the organisers so their presentation is not included in the CD. Therefore you have to be content with the table I have preapred from my notes and memory.

There are 20 acquisition projects related to Turkish navy and Turkish coast guard. Of these 20 project UDI is working on 13 of them.

Project End User Units RfP Notes
LCAC construction Navy 4
Preveze class submarines midlife modernisation Navy 4 In preparation
Underway replenishment tanker design Navy 1 Proceeding according to contract
Underway replenishment tanker construction Navy 1 In preparation
Conceptual design of Milden Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
Floating dry dock construction Navy 1 In preparation
Hydrographical research vessel construction Navy 2 In preparation
Search And Rescue boat construction Coast Guard 20 (+ 24 optional) Before end of 2015
SAT boat construction Navy 2 In October 2015
Diver training boat construction Navy 2 September 2015
İstanbul class frigate construction Navy 4 In preparation
TF-2000 class air defence frigate construction Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
Harbour tug construction Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
Barbaros class mid-life modernisation Navy 4 Before end of 2015
Mine sweeper construction Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
Sail training vessel construction Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
New type LCT construction Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
Ocean going tug construction Navy To be determined No detailed information avalible
 Turkish type fact attack craft construction Navy 4 In Q1 or Q2 of 2016
Fast patrol boat construction Navy 8 In November 2015
600 class coast guard vessel construction Coast Guard 8 In preparation

My Impressions From 7. Naval Systems Seminar

7NSS On 12 and 13 October 2015, the 7. Naval Systems Seminar was held in Ankara.

I am personally delighted to see this venue started as a one-man project turned to be an established organisation appreciated by everyone.

Turkish Navy was officially present in this year’s seminar. In previous years Turkish naval officers participated the event on their own without an official endorsement from the force.

It is interesting to notice the gradual changes happening in Turkish ship building industry through this event. This year for example Turkish shipyards decided not to attend with exception of Sedef Shipyard. Is this because the shipyards had to take part in IDEF Defence Fair in spring 2015 and used most of their budgets there, or is it because they know that there are no hot contested projects on the tables?

Saab making fun of LCS.

Saab making fun of LCS.

Most notable absentees were foreign companies and organisations such as UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation. UKTI DSO which was a prominent participant in early events was absent like US and German delegations and companies. Rolls Royce was the only British company present. After acquisition of Tognum they have become the major engine supplier in many Turkish naval projects. On the other hand the Spanish were there with their huge model LHD model and the Swedish with their smart presentations.

Large Turkish defence companies like Aselsan and Havelsan were also present since they are among the main sponsors of the Naval Systems Seminar, they did not have too much options.

Aselsan is enlarging its product range for naval applications. They offer a variety of devices from 3 dimensional radars to torpedo decoys; from EW suites to remote-controlled guns. Havelsan on the other end is offering mainly command and control and situational awareness solutions for naval applications.

The enthusiasm of the first years have turned in to a more sober mood. In the previpus events people were talking about the things they are going to do in the future. Now they are talking about the things they have done and leason learned by doing them.

For further reading:

6th Naval Systems Seminar

5th Naval Systems Seminar (Part II)

5th Naval Systems Seminar (Part I)

4th Naval Systems Seminar

3rd Naval Systems Seminar

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