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Doğu Akdeniz 2017 Naval Exercise Started In Eastern Mediterranean

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives in Aksaz, Turkey. Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Theron J. Godbold

Doğu Akdeniz 2017 naval exercise kicked off yesterday at Turkish Naval Base in Aksaz, Marmaris

The biannual, invitation exercise will take in areas near Aksaz in the Eastern Mediterranean between 7 and 16 November 2017.

Turkey has invited the NATO Standing Maritime Task Force-2 (SNMG-2), the United States and Romanian Naval Forces. They will join the Naval Forces, Air Forces and Coast Guard elements from Turkey.

25 warships and submarines 27 helicopters and airplanes and 3500 personnel from 5 participating countries will take part in the exercise. The exercise is a multinational maritime exercise designed to improve combined combat capabilities, increase operational capacity and strengthen relationships among NATO allies.

This is the list of the participating ships and submarines as fas as I could comply:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-24X TCG XXX Frigate Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
P-344 TCG Rüzgar Fast attack craft Turkey
P-345 TCG Poyraz Fast attack craft Turkey
P-347 TCG Fırtına Fast attack craft Turkey
P-338 TCG Bora Fast attack craft Turkey
P-33X TCG XXX Fast attack craft Turkey
S-35X TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S-35X TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
S-35X TCG XXX Submarine Turkey
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
A-XXX TCG XXX Tanker Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar LST Turkey
A-XXX TCG XXX Tug Turkey
SG-703 TCSG Yaşam OPV Turkey CG
L-12 HMS Ocean LSH UK SNMG-2
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey SNMG-2
41 BGS Drazki Frigate Bulgaria SNMG-2
265 ROS Admiral Horia Macelariu Corvette Romania
75 USS Donald Cook Destroyer USA

Furthermore following military and civilian search and rescue and emergency responce teams will tke part in the exercise:

 

  1. Turkish Land Forces Command Natural Disaster Relief teams and ambulance helicopters,
  2. Turkish Air Force Command, search and rescue helicopter and AKİP (Search and Rescue Specialist Staff) team,
  3. Ministry of Interior (Gendarmerie General Command), JAK (Gendarme Search and Rescue) teams,
  4. Transport, Maritime and Communications Ministry, Coastal Security General Directorate, Nene Hatun emergency response ship,
  5. Ministry of Health mobile hospital, command control instrument and UMKE (National Medical Rescue Team) teams,
  6. The Turkish Red Crescent

An important part of the exercise will be the attempts to provide coastal safety during disasters by means of disaster and emergency operations, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and air sanitary evacuation procedures.  The command, control and communications capabilities of the newest amphibious ship of Turkish Navy, TCG Bayraktar will be tested and evaluated in this scenario extensively.

 

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On Board The TCG Bayraktar

Mr. Hakan Kılıç, military aviation and ballistics missiles and BMD researcher, visited the newest warship of  Turkish Navy: TCG Bayraktar. He took photos during his visit and kindly allowed me to used them.

The photos you are about to see are his, but comments are mine.

The stern of TCG Bayraktar. The stern door leads directly to the vehicle bay that covers the whole length of the ship in a true Ro-Ro style.

The vehicle bay. The photo was taken from aft looking to the bow door. The deck is uncluttered and many hatches give an easy access to the deck.

The galley. Since an army marches on its stomach this is one of the most important part of the ship.

The helm at the bridge.

Looking from bridge to the starboard crane and LCVP’s. The port side LCPV are part visible. There is ample place on the deck to park vehicles or store additional material.

A close up view of the top starboard LCVP. TCG Bayraktar carries 4 of them. The black surface on the deck must be the ramp to the lower decks.

The flight deck of TCG Bayraktar. It can support landing of a 15 ton helicopter

A close up to the counter measures on board. The Ultra Sea Sentor launcher is in foreground. The Sea Sentor suit has a passive array to detect submarines, a command and control module and this counter measure launcher. A locally made chaff and flare launcher -similar to Mk36 – can be seen on the background.

The black thing in the middle of the image is, one of laser warning receivers. On the right the main mast of the ship can be seen with the ARES 2N ECM antennas and a SMART-S MK2 3D radar on top. The shape of the mast and antenna arrangement is the same of Ada class corvettes.

A commercial of the shelf navigation and helicopter approach radar looking to the aft of the ship. The pipes and sprinklers of the wash down system are visible. They help to clean away the contamination in case of a NBC warfare and to cool the ship so she is less visible to heat seeking sensors.

TCG Bayraktar Commissioned

A two months old photo of the ship taken during trials. The lack of the CIWS are noteworthy. The orange thing on board is a floating target used for the gun trials.

According to a tweet from Minister of National Defence the first ship of Bayraktar class landing ships L-402 TCG Bayraktar was commissioned in Turkish Navy on 14 April 2017.

Since the ship will be under the shipyard’s warranty for 12 months, this is regarded as a temporary commissioning. A permanent commissioning is when Turkish Navy fully becomes responsible form the ship.

The original weapon load of the ship was two 40 mm guns, two Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS and two 12,7 mm machine guns on stabilized platforms.

When I saw the ship two months ago, the Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS systems were not fitted. The Mk-15’s are also missing in the current photos of the ship. It is highly possible that Turkish Navy will install the close-in weapon system itself since there should be around 10 in inventory. These weapons have been taken from old Knox class  frigates as they were decommissioned.

I wish TCG Bayraktar fair winds and following seas.

TCG Bayraktar Is Getting Ready For The Service

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TCG Bayraktar on acceptance trials in Marmara Sea this weekend. Note her Phalanx CIWS have not been fitted yet.

The first ship of the new landing ship class, TCG Bayraktar is undergoing sea trials and acceptance tests.

The contract for the construction of a new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADIK_Furtrans shipyard on 11 May 2011. The value of the contract is 370 million Euros. It took almost two years for the shipyard to find the 370 million Euro credit to cover the project as required by the contract. The first steel was cut on 14 May 2014 at ADİK Shipyard and was launched on 3rd October 2015. The shipyard has succeeded in keeping its contractual obligation and delivering the ship in 34 months.

The second ship TCG Sancaktar is still under construction.

The Bayraktar class ships have a crew of 129 and will carry 350 soldiers. The ships have a citadel to protect the crew from effects of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
The closed parking area is 1100 square meters and the open deck parking area is 690 square meters enough for about 20 main battle tanks and between 24 – 60 vehicles.

The armament consists of 2 single barreled 40mm Oto Melara guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS, 2 machine guns on a stabilized remote-controlled chassis.

The ships have a Smart Mk2 3D air/surface search radar, which not common for an amphibious ship. Furthermore there are 2 AselFLIR 300D EO directors, torpedo counter measures systems, laser warning receiver and Link 16/22 system. All these sensors and weapons will be controlled by 5 consoles of GENESIS CMS.

 

TCG Sancaktar Launched

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TCG Sancaktar being launched. Photo: Denizhaber

Amid the turmoil created by the failed coup attempt, the second New Type LST, TCG Sancaktar was launched on 16th July 2016. I wish her calm seas and friendly winds.

The first ship of the new landing ship class TCG Bayraktar was launched on 3rd October 2015.

The contract for the construction of a new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADIK-Furtrans shipyard on 11 May 2011. The value of the contract is 370 million Euros. It took almost two years for the shipyard to find the 370 million Euro credit to cover the project as required by the contract.

The new landing ships will have a crew of 129 and will carry 350 soldiers. The ships will have a citadel to protect the crew from effects of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The closed parking area is 1100 square meters and the open deck parking area is 690 square meters sufficient for approximately 20 main battle tanks and between 24 – 60 vehicles.

The armament consists of 2 single barreled 40mm Oto Melara guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS, 2 machine guns on a stabilized remote-controlled chassis.

The ships will have a Smart Mk2 3D air/surface search radar (which not common for an amphibious ship) 2 AselFLIR 300D EO director, torpedo counter measures systems, laser warning receiver and Link 16/22 system. All these sensors and weapons will be controlled by a 5 consoles of GENESIS CMS.

Here is a video of the launching:

New Constructions For Turkish Navy

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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 April 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.

 

 

TCG Bayraktar To Be Lauched on 3rd October 2015

LST_NG_2 copy LST_NG copy

The first ship of the new landing ship class TCG Bayraktar will be launched by ADIK Shipyard on 3rd October 2015. Her construction started 17 months ago.

The contract for the construction of a new LST’s was signed between Ministry of Defence and ADIK_Furtrans shipyard on 11 May 2011. The value of the contract is 370 million Euros. It took almost two years for the shipyard to find the 370 million Euro credit to cover the project as required by the contract.

The first steel was cut on 14 May 2014 at ADİK Shipyard. The first ship is called as TCG Bayraktar replacing the old TCG Bayraktar, a LST-511 class landing ship which is out of commission.

The new landing ships will have a crew of 129 and will carry 350 soldiers. The ships will have a citadel to protect the crew from effects of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
The closed parking area is 1100 square meters and the open deck parking area is 690 square meters sufficient for approximately 20 main battle tanks and between 24 – 60 vehicles.

The armament consists of 2 single barreled 40mm Oto Melara guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS, 2 machine guns on a stabilized remote-controlled chassis.
The ships will have a Smart Mk2 3D air/surface search radar (which not common for an amphibious ship) 2 AselFLIR 300D EO director, torpedo counter measures systems, laser warning receiver and Link 16/22 system. All these sensors and weapons will be controlled by a 5 consoles of GENESIS CMS.

First Steel Is Cut For Turkish TCG Bayraktar

LST_NG_2 copy LST_NG copy

Suddenly and silently the construction of the first of the two new LST class ships has started.

The first steel was cut on 14 May 2014 at ADİK Shipyard. The first ship will be called as TCG Bayraktar; the name proves that the old TCG Bayraktar, an old LST-511 class landing ship is out of commission.

The contract for the construction of two new LST class landing ships was signed between ADIK shipyard and SSM in 16 June 2011. It took almost two years for the shipyard to find the 370 million Euro credit to cover the project as required by the contract.

The shipyard expect to hand the ship to Turkish Navy in 34 months on 17 February 2017.

TCG Karamürselbey On Bosphorus

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing southbound, through Bosphorus on 29 September 2013. Photo: Deniz Yaman. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

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Turkish Sarucabey class landing ship NL-124 TCG Karamürselbey passing northbound, through Bosphorus on 7 October 2013. Photo: Eser Çelebiler. Used with permission.

Russian Ropuchas and Alligators are not the only landing ships pass through the Bosphorus. Here are photos of our indigenous NL-124 TCG Karamürsel showing her two recent passages.

She is the sister of NL-123 TCG Sarucabey and both are enlarged version of the now deleted Çakabey class.These ships can carry 600 troops, 11 tanks and 2 LCVP’s and have mine laying capability as a secondary role. Hence the letter “N” on the pennant number. Both were constructed now closed Taşkızak Naval Shipyard.

Most probably both TCG Sarucabey and TCG Karamürselbey will be replaced by the new landing ship class being constructed at ADIK Shipyard.

The Modernization of NL-125 TCG Osmangazi

NL-125 TCG Osmangazi, on 30th August 2011 in İzmir

NL-125 TCG Osmangazi is the biggest amphibious ships of Turkish Navy. And until the two LST ships under construction at ADIK Shipyard join the Navy, she is also the newest. She was launched in 1990 and commissioned in 1994. She is the third generation of indigenous designed large amphibious ships and has all the design characteristics of Turkish large landing ships. She can carry 900 troops and 15 main battle tanks.

She has a large bow door. This means the ship can beach to unload its cargo. This limits her draught and affects the shape of her hull.

The two small doors at her stern are for mine lying. All large amphibious ships of Turkish navy have a secondary mine laying capability. Hence the “L” in her pennant. The large anchor between the hatches is used to drag the ship away from the beach after she has unloaded her cargo . As she has no dock in her stern the four LCVP’s she has are carried on davits on the both sides of her super structure.

In 2011, she underwent an extensive modernization in Alaybey Naval Shipyard in Izmir. This modernization done by Turkish Navy changed the ship considerably. Therefore it deserves a closer look.

Prior her modernization she had two 40mm twin barreled Bofors AA guns in A position and one twin barreled 35mm Oerlikon AA gun in X position. The manually loaded and controlled Bofors guns were not adequate to protect the ship against today’s airborne treats.

Therefore they have been replaced by two Oerlikon 35mm AA guns. Probably the existing Oerlikon turret was taken from the aft of the ship and replaced. The second guns must come from the storage. This type of AA guns were installed by Turkish Navy to the now deleted Gearing class destroyers to enhance their AA defenses. They were not used since. These guns can be very handy for suppression of ground defenses around the beachhead, as they have high fire rate.

A Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS was installed where the 35mm Oerlikon used to be. Thus TCG Osmangazi becomes the first amphibious ships to have a modern close in weapon systems. Surely the Phalanx system will shorten the reaction time against air threats. This mount must be taken from a decommissioned frigate.

The most interesting addition is the SLQ-32(V)2 EW antenna group above the pilothouse. This antennas and the inside components must be taken from and old Knox or Perry class frigate. As all Perry class frigates still have their SLQ-32 installed the unit may be taken from the two Perry’s given for cannibalization or from a recently decommissioned Knox class ship. This EW system is the first one installed on an amphibious ship.

I have no information about the changes happened inside the ship. The large ventilators on the pilothouse suggests that the habitability of the ships was also improved.  If  there was a CIC prior the modernization it must been upgraded. If there was no CIC prior the modernization there is one now. This is a preparation for the future LST’s as they are going to have a combat management system installed.

The Turkish Navy performed a simple but very efficient overhaul on this ship and improved her fighting ability considerably. The fact that almost all the newly installed weapons and sensors were taken from decommissioned ships indicates that the budget was tight and there will be no similar upgrades to the other amphibious ships.

When enter into service, the two LST’s being constructed at ADIK Shipyard will have a more capable sensor and C3I ability than all the existing LST’s. The modernization done to TCG Osmangazi should be seen as a step to upgrade the current amphibious ships and create a working platform similar to the future ships. This will increase the compatibility between the ships and prepare the sailors to the next generation of ships.

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