The Mediterranean Odyssey of TCG Heybeliada (Part 2)

The Turkish corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada arrived in La Goulette Tunisia today after finishing her visit in Algeria.

TCG Heybeliada will stay in Tunisia till 6 July 2013.

According to the Algerian news portals the visit of TCG Heybeliada was within the framework of military cooperation between to nations.

Within the framework of military cooperation between Algeria and Turkey, the Turkish corvette TCG Heybeliada docked yesterday at the port of Algiers, during a stopover to spread until July 2.Entered service in September 2011, the vessel in question, 99 meters long, has a crew of 93 men between sailors and officers, and has its board a helicopter, as well as a mini-track aterrissage if we rely on the data sheet provided to reporters on his landing.   
weapons side, the corvette has eight anti-ship missiles Integred Defense Systems Boeing AGM-84 Harpoon, a launcher Mk.49 for Mod.3 21 missiles and a vertical surface to air launcher Raytheon RIM-162 ESSM Rolling Airframe Missile Block 1A missiles. 
TCG Heybeliada is also equipped with a retractable 76 mm gun, torpedoes, four 324 mm guns and two 12 , 7 mm. For electronic equipment, a three-dimensional naval surveillance radar and air surface Haselsan combat system and radar navigation round a table already well stocked with, among others, a hull sonar system and anti-torpedo decoy launching said “Sea Sentor SSTD.” 
When he arrived in Algiers, the crew of the corvette, led by Commander Bulent Bustano was received by the Commander of the Maritime Front Centre, General Mohamed Guelmami, pending the organization of a military exercises with the Algerian Navy.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday on board the ship, Colonel Yasar Camur is said to be “convinced” that he is beautiful “opportunities” in the fields of defense, security and the military industry to further strengthen relations between the two countries, the rest qualified “excellent” and said an agreement was signed between the two countries in September 2013. 

“The Turkish naval forces are prepared for possible exchange of experiences with our Algerian friends, as we participate in exercises and other military operations,” he said, recalling that in the wake of the relations between Algeria and Turkey are “old”.”We are Turks and Algerians, the descendants of Barbarossa,” he said not without observing that the fleets of the two countries often bear common names.  

The emphasize on the last paragraph is mine.

Here is a short video of TCG Heybeliada arriving in Algiers.

The Mediterranean Odyssey of TCG Heybeliada

 TCG Heybeliada, in Tripoli      Photo: Aimen Eljali

TCG Heybeliada, in Tripoli Photo: Aimen Eljali

The Ada class corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada is continuing her trip across the North African Countries.

After Alexandria Egypt, she has visited Tripoli Libya.

The first Turkish navy ship to enter Libyan waters since 1911, when the Ottomans lost what became Libya to the Italians, docked yesterday in Tripoli harbour. The frigate, TCG Heybeliada, arrived yesterday morning on a visit designed to promote Turkish-Libyan naval ties, including support for the Libyan navy.

The visit also celebrates the 500th anniversary of the world map drawn in 1513 by Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis and is part of North Africa tour to mark it.

As well as Tripoli, the frigate is visiting ports in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. It arrived from Alexandria.

At a press conference on board yesterday, attended by members of the Libyan navy, Turkish navy officers spoke both of the relations between the two countries and the need for naval cooperation between all Mediterranean countries, particularly in the field of military training. In Libya’s case, this was anticipated to include support from the Turkish navy in the rebuilding of the Libyan navy and training for Libyan naval cadets. It is also expected to include the construction of vessels as well as the provision of expertise and technical support, as well as an exchange of visits and consultations between officials of the two countries’ navies.

The vessel’s commander said during the press conference that what is now Libya and Turkey had enjoyed good relations for 500 years. Asked if the Turkish naval skill support had been offered to Libya, a Libyan navy officer said that a number of friendly countries has agreed to provide help and support.

The above report of the Libyan Herald ignores the fact that a number of Turkish warships docked in Libyan ports during the civil war in this country that ended the Qaddafi regime, but this is not my point.

The Moroccan port of Casablanca was the next stop for TCG Heybeliada after Tripoli.

Casablanca, June 25, 2013 (MAP) – The military ship TCG Heybeliada, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, visited Tuesday at Casablanca port for two days before heading to Spain before returning to Istanbul, its home port after 35 days journey.

This building, modern multi-role, was built entirely by the Turkish shipbuilding industry Milgem kind. It is 99.5 meters long, 2,400 tons and gauge uses two MTU diesel and turbine LM-2500 gas engines, said at a press briefing Captain Yachar Chamour.

This corvette, the first building of this class (Milgem) 85 sailors onboard account between officers and crew. It was launched in September 2008 and had made his first trip two years later in November 2010, he said, adding that the second ship will be operational in September.

It is equipped with electronic systems including weapon launchers cruise missiles and Harpoon anti-ship, anti-aircraft missiles RAM, the 76 mm gun and MK46 torpedo, explained the captain.

The Milgem class has a radius of 5,000 km, a top speed of 30 knots, can stay 45 days at sea and has a platform to accommodate a helicopter.

This visit to the port of Casablanca offers the opportunity to promote dialogue and cooperation and contribute to the development of military relations between the two countries, he said.

The Algerian capital, Algeria is the next scheduled port of call for TCG Heybeliada. She is planned to arrive there tomorrow and will remain till Tuesday.

I find this trip very interesting:

  • This is the first cruise of TCG Heybeliada for such a long duration. It will bring valuable lessons about operating this class, as a single unit for extended periods away from the organic support of Turkish Navy.
  • This tour is a very good way of increasing the soft power of Turkey in the region by using a Turkish designed and built warship. It is a text book example of power projection by naval forces in peace time operations.
  • I am sure that this voyage is also a part of the efforts to market the Ada class corvettes to foreign navies.

Further Reading:
TCG Heybeliada Starts Her Mediterranean Tour
The Mediterranean Cruise of TCG Heybeliada

The Mediterranean Cruise of TCG Heybeliada


The children from an Egyptian orphanage visit Turkish warship TCG Heybeliada. Photo: Turkish General Consulate in Alexandria

The first indigenous warship of Turkish Navy, the Ada class F-511 TCG Heybeliada will arrive in Tripoli, Libya tomorrow for an official visit.

Turkish Navy did not shared the duration of the port visit but there will be a press conference on board on Monday. In 2010 Turkish Navy organised a task force of four frigates and one support ships and made a two months cruise in the Mediterranean.

The cruise of TCG Heybeliada is a good example how to use the soft power of a navy. 

Further Reading:
TCG Heybeliada Starts Her Mediterranean Tour

Bulgarian Warship Drazki Returned Home (UPDATED)

F-41 BS Drazki during her northbound transit in Bosphorus on 3 June 2011.

The Bulgarian contribution to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, the frigate F-41 BS Drazki returned home from Libya.

She has left Bulgaria on 28 April 2010 and served 37 days in Mediterranean, patrolling the  seas of the coast of Libya. As of the first week of May she was not given the task to inspect cargo ships or fishing boats. Later she has interrogated 46 vessels to check if they are complying to the UN Sanctions against Libya.

The Bulgarian government has approved sending a frigate for three months to the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the NATO operation, but the ships will be rotated so that each ship will spend  one month in Mediterranean. It is expected that one of her sisters, BS Gordi or BS Verni to replace her.

UPDATE: Well, unfortunately my expectations turned out to be wrong. According to Bulgarian news portal, with the return of BS Drazki, there will be no other Bulgarian ships off the shores of Libya.

The Bulgarian government approved sending the frigate for three months to the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the NATO operation, but Defense Minister, Anuy Angelvo, announced at the end of May that there is no funding to extend its mission.

Somebody should have told them before hand,  that joining NATO was an expensive affair.

TCG Zafer Taking Part In Unified Protector

TCG Zafer receiving fuel from USNS Kanawha

Turkish Navy’s sole surviving Knox class frigate F-253 TCG Zafer is taking part in Operation Unified Protector. Or she was, as today NATO’s website about the operation does not list she, but her name does appear on the Google cache of the same page.

But the photo of the left leaves no doubt that TCG Zafer was off Libya some time in May as the photo is from the Facebook page of USNS Kanawha.

I am surprised to see this old ship still going strong as I was thinking that she may have been already decommissioned.

H/T: Dave Shirlaw 

M/F Ankara Is Heading Back To Misurata

M/F Ankara

The Turkish ferry M/F Ankara has left Alexandria, Egypt and is heading to Misurata. With her current speed she will arrive in the Libyan town in 26 hours.

On 12 April she has left Benghazi with 1025 Egyptian evacuees on board. She was in Alexandria since 14 April 2011.

Disaster and Emergency Management Agency and Turkish Red Crescent are sending 818 tons of humanitarian aid to Libya, including food, drinking water, hygienic supplies,  100 generators, 2 ambulances, 15 mobile satellite telephone sets, on board of Turkish flagged cargo ship M/V Kaptan Selim.

M/V Ankara on her way to Misurata

About previous trips of M/F Ankara to and from Libya:

M/F Ankara In Libya

How M/F Ankara Was Protected During Her Stay In Libya

M/F Ankara Returning To Turkey

M/F Ankara In Misurata

M/F Ankara Could Not Dock In Misurata

M/F Ankara In Libya

M/F Ankara

The ferry M/V Ankara arrived in Benghazi on 11 April 2011. She took 45 Libyans, treated in hospitals in Turkey back home. According to the announcement from the Office of Prime Minister the ship will remain in the region as she will evacuate Egyptians from Libya.

Today the ferry left Benghazi with 1025 Egyptians and is heading to Alexandria. She is expected to arrive there on 14 April 2011.

M/F Ankara Is Heading To Benghazi Again

According to AIS transponder data the ferry M/V Ankara has left Çeşme port for a trip to Benghazi, shortly after midnight on 9 April 2011.

The ferry was converted to a  makeshift hospital ship and evacuated 250 wounded Libyans from Misurata and Bengazi last week.

This will her second trip to Libya as a hospital ship. She was involved in the evacuation of Turkish citizens from Libya in February with her sister ships TCG Iskenderun and M/V Samsun. While M/V Samsun stayed in the regions and evacuated Egyptians from Libya, M/V Ankara returned to Turkey to be converted to a temporary hospital ship.

The timing of this trip is interesting. This week the Turkish consulate in Bengazi was attacked by Libyans protesters and a Turkish aid ship was denied into entering the harbor. The reason for this outrage of Libyan rebels is the statement of Turkish prime minister Erdoğan,  who said last week that NATO’s mission was not to arm the rebels, but protect them.

List Of Warships Taking Part In Operation Unified Protector (UPDATED)

Type 209 submarine

NATO has updated its list of the warships taking part in the Operation Unified Protector. Thus I have to update my list too. It seems that it is the Turkish submarine S-353 TCG Preveze that is taking part in the operation rather than previously announced S-358 TCG Çanakkale.

TCG Preveze is the first boat of the Type 209 /1400 submarines built in Turkey.

The updated list of the participating ships is below:

A-5326 ITS Etna Tanker Italy
C-551 ITS Garibaldi Carrier Italy
F-572 ITS Libeccio Frigate Italy
P-492 ITS C. Bettica OPV Italy
F-339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
F-85 HMS Cumberland Frigate UK
F-451 HS Limnos Frigate Greece
F-104 ESPS Mendez Nunez Frigate (!) Spain
F-490 TCG Gaziantep Frigate Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
A-590 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
M-853 HMNLS Haarlem Minehunter Netherlands
M-923 BNS Narcis Minehunter Belgium
S-353 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey
S-74 ESPS Tramontana Submarine Spain
Bosphorus Naval News

Thanks to: Nicolas Gros-Verheyde, Editor of the wonderful blog: Bruxelles2

M/F Ankara In Misurata

M/F Ankara

The Turkish civilian ferry M/F Ankara finally docked at Misurata port tonight according to Turkish Foreign Ministry tweets.

The ferry sailed from Çeşme, İzmir on 27 March 2010. For the last five days she was waiting off the Libyan city Misurata. The fighting in and around the city prevented M/F Ankara to dock at the harbor.

M/F Ankara is loaded with 2 tons of medical supplies and 3 ambulances. On board are 15 healthcare professionals and a security detail of 10. In Misurata she will disembark her cargo and will pick up 100 – 200 wounded Libyans for further treatment in Turkey.

F-243 TCG Yıldırım

The ferry will proceed to Benghazi after picking up the wounded Libyans in Misurata. The Meko 200 class frigate  F-243 TCG Yıldırım is escorting and protecting the ferry.

In Çeşme a small field hospital is erected by Ministry of Health. Numerous ambulances are waiting to carry the severely wounded patients to the hospitals when the ship arrives in Turkey.

Here is a video of M/F Ankara in Misurata:

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