Turkish Coast Guard Tows Future Qatari Coast Guard Boat

Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-70 prepares to tow QC-711. Photo: Turkish Coast Guard.

Turkish Coast Guard announced that, they have helped a boat drifting off the Coast of Antalya.

This boat was QC-711 one of the ARES 75 type boats constructed by ARES shipyard for Qatari Coast Guard. According to the Turkish Coast Guard press release, QC-711 had a malfunction during the builders trials and lost all power. Thus Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-70 was dispatched to tow the distressed boat back to the shipyard.

TCG Gelibolu Meets Japanese Training Fleet

TCG Gelibolu, in formation with 151 JS Asagiri, 3518 JS Setoyuki and 3508 JS Kashima. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

Turkish Gabya class frigate TCG Gelibolu made a passing exercise in Eastern Mediterranean with the Japanese Training Fleet.

According to the official statement various maneuvers, training and drills were performed, personnel was exchanged between the ships. It is said the exercise has contributed to the development of interoperability and cooperation between Turkey and the Japanese Navy.

An IED Kills A Turkish Coast Guard Sailor

The yellow circle shows the approximate location of the incident. Syrian border in 10 nautical miles to south.

The yellow circle shows the approximate location of the incident. Syrian border in 10 nautical miles to south.

A Turkish Coast Guard sailor died and a fisherman wounded when a life raft with two bodies on it exploded. The incident happened off the coast of Samandağ in Hatay province, in the morning of 22nd May 2016.

According to news reports, Ali Doğru, a local fisher, sighted a life raft with 2 dead persons, drifting 3 kilometers off the coast of Samandağ and informed the coast guard. One of the boats stationed in Çevlik, Samandağ was dispatched to investigate the incident. Çevlik is the southernmost Coast Guard base a few nautical miles away from Syrian border.

The explosion happened as the coast guard vessel tried to tow life raft. The sailor Alper Al, died and the fisher Ali Doğru was injured. The divers later brought some pieces of the boat and some body parts from the sea floor.

The details of the incident is not enough to answer all the questions. It is not clear if it was a targeted attack against Turkish Coast Guard or not.

Previously boats rigged with explosives were used in suicide attacks against ships. These attacks such the one against USS Cole or M/T Limburg were intended attacks with a live driver bringing the boat to its determined target. Since the boat was drifting it is difficult to determine the intended target of this attack. Drifting mines were used  to disrupt sea traffic in certain areas during war times, but I have not heard about drifting boats rigged with explosives. If one of the fighting parties in Syria, specially rigged the boat with an IED intending hurting the rescuers, this might be a first.

Turkish Navy Held Exercise For Aviation Units


A S-70B Seahawk helicopter conducts vertical replenishment to a Ay class submarine. Photo: Turkish Navy

Turkish Navy conducted a small scale naval exercise between 15th and 19th February 2016. The Exercise “Şehit Rad.Asb.Kd.Çvş. Aydın CANBOLAT Tatcial Training” was named after the radar operator Petty Officer 2nd Class Aydın Canpolat who died when his Coast Guard AB-412 helicopter crashed to the sea in 2005.

As the name of the exercise suggests the aim of it was to train Turkish naval aviation units.  9 S-70B Seahawk ASW helicopters, 3 CN-235-100M ASW planes, 2 frigates, 2 fast attack craft and one submarine  took part in the training.

Landing and taking of from a frigate sized flight deck, vertical replenishment, search and rescue operations, anti submarine warfare, coordinated action with surface and submarine units, torpedo firings were some of the actions performed during the exercise.

TCG Edremit Joins NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2


M-262 TCG Enez, sister ship to TCG Edremit. Photo: Devrim Yaylalı

The Engin class mine hunter, M-261 TCG Edremit has joined NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2. She will remain deployed till 24 April 2016. and will spend 72 days on sailing.

SNMCMG-2, under the Command of Turkish Navy, made a port visit to Izmir between 15 and 17 January 2015. The other port visits planed for SNMCMG-2 will be in Çanakkale, Erdek, İstanbul, Burgas, Batumi, Patras, Koper, Bar, Split, Venice, Bari and Toronto.

Between 20 and 27 February 2016, SNMCMG-2 will take part in Poseidon Naval Exercise organised by Bulgarian Navy. The task force will also take part in Exercise Ariadne, organised by Greek Navy between 4 and 13 March 2015.

This is the current composition of SNMCMG-2:

A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Flagship
M-261 TCG Edremit Turkey Mine hunter
M-33 SPS Tambre Spain Mine hunter
62 BGS Shkval Bulgaria Mine sweeper

General Hulusi Akar Visits TCG Büyükada

Photo: Official Turkish Armed Forces Photo

Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Akar, on Board of TCG Büyükada, saluting TCG Heybeliada. Photo: Official Turkish Armed Forces Photo

The Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Hulusi Akar visited the Ada class corvette TCG Büyükada on 29 December 2015.

According to the Turkish General Staff website General Akar visited TCG Büyükada while she was deployed for Operation Mediterranean Shield.

Operation Mediterranean Shield initiated by Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean on 1 April 2006 was executed to:
Provide security of oil transportation in Ceyhan, terminal area for oil, and therefore contribute to the security of global energy,
Demonstrate presence against possible risks and threats existing in the eastern Mediterranean and disencourage it,
Support initiatives by NATO for maritime security in the region,
Show presence through possible maritime domain,

This visit didn’t receive the attention it deserved, from the Turkish media.

Since Turkey shoot down a Russian bomber when it violated Turkish airspace, the tensions in that part of the Mediterranean Sea are high.

The photo above shows that both Ada class corvettes TCG Heybeliada and TCG Büyükada are stationed in Eastern Mediterranean. The Ada class ships are the youngest combat ships in Turkish Fleet. They have very low radar cross sections, and advanced electronic support systems. These ships are the most suitable warships in our service to conduct shadowing operations without been seen and perform flag showing.

The existence of these capable warships in this high tension area clearly indicates the commitment of Turkish Navy.

The Cargo On Alexandr Tkachenko


The cargo on Alexandr Tkachenko seen from port side. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


The cargo on Alexandr Tkachenko seen from port side. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


The cargo on Alexandr Tkachenko seen from port side. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


The cargo on Alexandr Tkachenko seen from port side. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


The cargo on Alexandr Tkachenko seen from port side. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.



The cargo on Alexandr Tkachenko seen from starboard side. Photos: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

The Russian flagged RORO ship Alexandr Tkachenko, is one of the civilian ship that is used by Russian military to supply the operations in Syria. She made her latest southbound passage through Istanbul Strait on 31 October 2015.

Her latest cargo has at least 20 ISO containers of which 3 are 40 feet and the rest are 20 feet. 4 trucks and 10 trailers are also visible on the deck.

Another Southbound Passage Of Nikolay Filchenkov


The cargo on deck of Nikolay Filchenkov. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


The cargo on deck of Nikolay Filchenkov. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


The cargo on deck of Nikolay Filchenkov. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.


Nikolay Filchenkov made her second southbound passage in 20 days. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.


Nikolay Filchenkov making her southbound passage. Note that she is heavier at aft. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

On 10 September 2015 the Russian Alligator class large landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov made another south bound passage through Turkish Straits. This is her second passage to the Mediterranean in 20 days. This was a faster turn around than usual.

Like her last passage she had cargo on her deck again. Apart from one 6 meter green shipping container and one small utility boat all cargo on deck was hidden under camouflage nets. It is difficult to guess the hidden cargo on deck but it does not look like a land vehicle (to me at least).

Between 20 August 2015 and 10 September 2015, 4 Ropucha class large landing ships and 1 Alligator class landing ship made their south bound passages through Turkish Straits in addition to The Nikolay Filchenkov’s two passages.

Friendship Bridge 2015 Naval Exercise

Egyptian supply ship A-230 Shalatein in Istanbul.

Egyptian supply ship A-230 Shalatein in Istanbul in March 2013.

Last week the Russia and Egypt conducted their first joint naval exercise named Friendship Bridge 2015.

The 8 day long drills started when all participant arrived in port of Alexandria on 6  June 2015. As part of the exercises, Russian and Egyptian warships, working with air support, are expected to protect shipping lanes from various threats and conduct live fire tactical training.

This is the second naval drill involving Russian warships in Mediterranean. The previous one was with PLAN.

The list of the ships taking part in Friendship Bridge 2015 is below:

Number Name Type Nationality
230 Shaladein Tanker Egypt
604 18. June Fast Attack Craft Egypt
605 25. April Fast Attack Craft Egypt
916 Taba Frigate Egypt
961 Damiyat Frigate Egypt
110 Alexander Shabalin Landing ship Russia
121 Moskva Cruiser Russia
616 Samum Corvette Russia
MB-31 MB-31 Tug Russia
Ivan Bubnov Tanker Russia

UPDATED: Mavi Balina Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise Starts Tomorrow

DSC_4349 kopya

TCG Batıray as seen in August 2014 in Istanbul. She is one of 4 Turkish submarines taking part in Mavi Balina ASW exercise.

I have updated and completed the list of the participating units:

F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate Turkey
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette Turkey
F-512 TCG Büyükada Corvette Turkey
S-347 TCG Atılay Submarine Turkey
S-349 TCG Batıray Submarine Turkey
S-356 TCG Anafartalar Submarine Turkey
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör Tanker Turkey
F-247 TCG Kemalreis Frigate Turkey
F-208 FGS Niedersachsen Frigate Germany
FFH-333 HMCS Toronto Frigate Canada
CG-55 USS Leyte Gulf Cruiser USA
F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbón Frigate Spain
F-84 ESPS Reina Sofia Frigate Spain
DDG-67 USS Cole Destroyer USA
FFG-260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
S-90 HMS Torbay Submarine United kingdom

According to Turkish Navy besides the above listed units one rapid analysis team from NATO MARCOM and observers from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Chile, Georgia, Kuwait, Lebanon will participate in the exercise.

%d bloggers like this: