TCG Burgazada Is Ready For Launch

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The third ship of the Milgem class corvettes, F-513 TCG Burgazada is ready for her scheduled launching ceremony on 17 June 2016.

Her keel was laid on 27 September 2013. Here are a couple photos which show the progress of her construction well.

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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.

First Steel Cut For TCG Kınalıada

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The first steel was cut for the fourth Milgem class corvette TCG Kınalıada on 8 October 2015.

The ceremony was held in Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

According to Turkish Navy press announcement the hull production of the third ship TCG Burgazada was finished 12 months before than planned, therefore the first steel of the TCG Kınalıada was cut 6 months ahead of the schedule.

TCG Burgazada will be launched in April 2016 and will be commissioned in 2019. TCG Kınalıada will be launched in December 2017 and will be commissioned in 2020.

TCG Burgazada Coming Along Nicely

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The construction of the third Ada type corvette is proceeding. Here without her bow on 17 July 2015.

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In less time a months time the bow was finished. Here on 7 August 2015.

The construction of the third Ada class (Milgem) corvette Burgazada is proceeding. The fabrication of her hull is almost finished with the pre-fabrication of her superstructure proceeding.

The two photos above are taken from a commercial airplane 3 weeks apart. The proceeding of the construction is visible. It appears that the ship will be ready to launch for the next year.

Second Generation Milgem Design Revealed

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A conceptual drawing of Milgem-G class. Original photo by Arda Mevlütoğu. Enhancements by me.

 

During the IDEF 2015 12th International Defense Industry Fair, Turkish Navy shared the first conceptual drawing of the second generation of Milgem ships which are also called as Milgem-G

So, what do we see here?

Nothing unorthodox or groundbreaking or very experimental. From the outside the ship is an enlarged Milgem. The inside changes can only be speculated at this moment.

The hull is basically the same as the existing Milgem class ships. It is longer and heavier due to the increased weapon load and other design changes, but there appears no important changes either on the hull or on the superstructure.

The main gun is a 76mm with a stealth cupola. There is 16 canister VLS just behind the gun. As Turkish Navy uses Mk41 VLS system it is safe to say that the same system will be used in Milgem-G class. These canister will be loaded with ESSM missiles.

The forms of the bridge and the main mast is almost identical to the existing Milgem class only slightly enlarge. There will be a Smart-S Mk2 radar and ARES-2 ESM suit on the mast.

There are 16 anti ship missiles in the area between the main mast and the funnel. This is the twice the usual load of the existing anti ship missiles normally carried on Turkish warships. So not all the missiles will be Harpoon otherwise will be too expensive to procure and maintain 16 anti ship missiles.

The design of Milgem-G from the funnel till the end of the ship is identical to the Milgem. The only major difference is the close in weapon system. While the Milgem has the RAM anti-air missiles the Milgem-G has a Phalanx gun. The reason for this change might be the high cost of the RAM missile system compared to MK-15 Phalanx.

There are two remotely controlled guns on the both sides of the funnel. The details are sketchy but I expect the chaff, flare launchers and torpedo counter measure launchers to be on their existent places. There is no need to change their places.

The above mentioned are the external differences between the two generation of Milgem ships. The internal changes are very hard to tell at this time. But nevertheless I think one might safely say that the combat management system of the second generation will be an improved version of the first generation.

Once the design is completed and cast, the Under-secretariat for Defence Industries, will issue a request for information from Turkish shipyards. This will mark the start of the construction program of the second class of the Milgem ships.

Rehearsal For The Commemoration Parade

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On 23 April 2015, 11 warships from 5 different nations gathered in Çanakkale to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Çanakkale Wars.

Two of them F-77 HMNZS Te Kaha and 150 HMAS Anzac arrived after a very long journey. The New Zealand frigate Te Kaha left her home port in 16 February and The Australian Frigate Anzac on 15 March 2015.
In addition to Australian and New Zealand frigates the British assault ship HMS Bulwark and the french destroyer FS Cassard ware also present. From Turkish Navy TCG Salihreis, TCG Yavuz, TCG Turgutreis, TCG Fatih TCG Heybeliada took part in the commemorations. And Turkish Coast Guard participated with the offshore patrol vessels TCSG Güven and TCSG Umut.

The above photos are taken on 23 April 2015 as the ship sailed southbound on Dardanelles for a rehearsal.

For the photos from the international sail past click here.

Deniz Yıldızı 2015 Exercise Completed

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F-502 TCG Bandırma returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Large landing ship NL-125 TCG Osmangazi making a southbound passage (returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise!?) through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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F-491 TCG Gemlik returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Tanker A-573 Binbaşı Sadettin Gürcan returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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F-500 TCG Bozcaada returning from Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise in Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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The oldest vessel in commission in Turkish Navy, A-578 TCG Gazal returning from the Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise.

The Deniz Yıldızı 2015 exercise ended on 16 April 2015 and the participants returned to their home ports.

According to the Turkish Navy website following units took part 6 frigates, 3 corvettes, 5 fast attack craft, 2 submarines, 7 auxiliaries, 2 patrol boats, 3 maritime surveillance planes, 7 helicopters.

I was able to identify 18 warships of out indicated 23. Here is the list:

Number Name Type
A572 TCG Yüzbaşı İhsan Tolunay Tanker
A573 TCG Binbaşı Sadettin Gürcan Tanker
A587 TCG Gazal Tug
A595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör Tanker
AXXX Auxiliary
F240 TCG Yavuz Frigate
F241 TCG Turgutreis Frigate
F243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate
F245 TCG Oruçreis Frigate
F246 TCG Salihreis Frigate
F493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate
F500 TCG Bozcada Corvette
F502 TCG Bandırma Corvette
F511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette
P12XX Patrol Boat
P12XX Patrol Boat
P330 TCG Kılıç Fast attack craft
P332 TCG Mızrak Fast attack craft
P335 TCG İmbat Fast attack craft
P336 TCG Zıpkın Fast attack craft
P337 TCG Atak Fast attack craft
SXXX Submarine
SXXX Submarine

Click here for the photos of the frigates and fast attack craft participating in the exercise.

TCG Büyükada Evacuates 55 Turkish Citizens From Aden

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TCG Büyükada in Aden, embarking the Turkish citizens on board. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

 

Today, the Milgem class Corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada evacuated 55  Turkish citizens trapped in Yemen.

The corvette was deployed to the Gulf of Aden and was in the region since January. It is the first major operation for TCG Büyükada. This is also the first non combatant evacuation operation for any Milgem class warship.

The ship has more accommodation that its crew but the spare bunks are not enough for 55 civilians. TCG Büyükada will disembark the civilians in Djibouti where a Turkish Airline airplane will bring them home.

This is the official press release:

After the launch of the military operation in Yemen by the coalition forces under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, a meticulous work has been carried on for the evacuation of the Turkish citizens who are in Yemen and requesting their evacuation. During the whole process, ultimate care has been shown not to endanger the safety of our citizens, and a multifaceted approach has been pursued by considering all available options.

In this context, TCG Büyükada Frigate of the Turkish Naval Forces on mission in the adjacent waters completed the evacuation of 55 citizens who were in Aden. Our citizens will be taken firstly to Djibouti, and thence they will be transferred to Turkey by a Turkish Airlines aircraft.

We welcome the safe and sound evacuation of our citizens from Aden thanks to the devoted and skillful efforts of our relevant institutions and the initiated coordination.

TCG Büyükada Rejoins Operation Ocean Shield

TCG Büyükada in Operation Ocean Shiled. Photo: NATO MARCOM

According to NATO Maritime Command web site, Turkish corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada joined the NATO Counter Piracy Operation Ocean Shield for a second time.

TCG Büyükada is on a deployment to the Gulf Of Aden since January and she is expected to return to Turkey in 15 days. Previously in February she again joined the NATO task force for the Operation Ocean Shield.

This is the second counter piracy deployment of the Turkish corvette in the past two months. During her tour of duty, the ship will operate with recently joined Royal Australian Navy Oiler HMAS SUCCESS. TCG BUYUKADA will conduct regular counter piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and provide support to NATO’s regional capacity building efforts in order to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the nations in the area. The ship will also conduct training with naval forces operating in the Indian Ocean.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Turkish Navy for its determined support to counter piracy and firm commitment to international maritime security,” said Commander NATO Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Peter Hudson. “Multinational contributions are essential to defeating piracy in the region and strengthening the cooperation between naval forces. Wider support to this international mission brings us closer to eliminate the threat.”

Built by Istanbul Naval Shipyard under the Turkish National warship program, TCG BUYUKADA is a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous surface, air and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. The 2400 ton, 99.5m long corvette is equipped with numerous weapons and systems and carries a helicopter and a crew of approximately 90 Sailors.

“During the course of our duty, we will expand on our experiences from the first deployment,” said the Commander of TCG BUYUKADA, Lieutenant Commander Ali Tuna BAYSAL. “As her commander, I am very pleased that TCG BUYUKADA has the opportunity to contribute again to addressing piracy in the region.”

TCG Büyükada Exercises With Bahraini Warship

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TCG Büyükada conducts a passing exercise with Bahraini warship Hawar. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

TCG Büyükada is continuing with her Indian Ocean deployment.

She was in Doha, Qatar, between 3 and 6 March for a scheduled port visit. After leaving Qatar she made PASSEX with the Bahraini war ship RNBS Hawar.

TCG Büyükada is now making a port visit in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. She is scheduled to return to Turkey in 30 days.

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