Photos from 238th Anniversary Celebrations Of Turkish Naval Academy

Turkish Naval Academy was founded in 18 November 1773. To celebrate the 238th anniversary of this occasion a small armada of Turkish warships visited Heybeliada were today the Turkish Naval High School still educates the futures cadres of Turkish Navy. Among the visitors were the first of Milgem class, TCG Heybeliada, the first of New Type Patrol Boat class, TCG Tuzla, the second ship of Aydın Class mine hunters, TCG Amasra, one unidentified Type 209 submarine and various Coast Guard vessels. Enjoy the photos

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

P-1200 TCG Tuzla

M-266 TCG Amasra

Type 209 / 1400 class submarine




TCG Kumkale On Builders Trial

The fourth boat of the New Type Patrol Boat class, P-1203 TCG Kumkale has started the builders trials. She was sighted on 25 August 2011.

P-1203 TCG Kumkale on builders trialsP-1203 TCG Kumkale on builders trials

P-1203 TCG Kumkale on builders trials

IDEF’11 Update Part 2: Companies

This is the second installment of my impression from the IDEF’11. In this post I will try to focus more on companies and products rather than procurement projects. As 621 companies attended the fair I will focus about those that made the most impressions.

Acoustic decoys for submarines and surface ships

Aselsan: This company had the biggest stand of the fair and showed a number of many different equipment ranging from echo sounder to a main battle tank. ASELSAN has proved that it is a powerful company in military electronics. Currently they are capable to produce:

Remote controlled, stabilized gun platforms
Fire control guns for guns
Launcher and command and control system for ASW rockets
Torpedo countermeasure systems and decoys for submarines and surface ships
Integrated communications suites
Laser warning receivers
Electro optical systems
Electronic warfare suites and sensors
Radar systems

The ARES-2N naval radar ES system detects, intercepts, identifies, classifies, tracks, Direction-Finds (DF), localizes, platform correlates, records and provides audio warnings of threat signals within the 2 to 18 GHz frequency band.. The system is integrated into Milgem ans selected for Ay class submarine modernization program.

The ASELFLIR 300D includes a high resolution IR camera, a laser rangefinder/designator, a laser spot tracker, a CDTV, and a spotter TV camera. This EO system is used on Heybeliada, Coast Guard SAR and New Type Patrol Boat classes.

They are developing expendable active jammers which can be fires from the existing chaff/flare launchers.

In a short future the company will be able to provide all the necessary electronics for a warships plus the self defense systems including decoys.

Roketsan: Roketsan is producing the rocket of the ASW rocket system. The rockets individually wrapped in a fiberglass hull have a HE explosive warhead and a time fuse. The maximum range of the rocket is 2000 meters. The aiming and launching is controlled from a purpose built console by ASELSAN.

Havelsan: Havelsan has established themselves as a combat management systems provider. The GENESIS systems architecture they have received from ARMERKOM is the base of all the current CMS developed by Havelsan. The orginal GENESIS CMS developed for G class frigates has derivatived into CMS for MILGEM and New Type Patrol Boats. CMS by Havelsan will be used in New Type 214 submarines, LST’s and LHD’s too.

One of the contracts signed during the fair was between Havelsan and Lockheed Martin for the integration of SPY phased radar systems to the CMS made by Havelsan. The SPY radars are the backbone of the US Navy’s AEGIS air and anti ballistic missile defence system.

Well this question must be asked: On one hand there is a local electronics power house like ASELSAN that is trying to develop naval radar systems on the other hand you sign a deal with a US company about the most important and significant air defence radar systems. How will this deal effect the local development and why it was necessary.

Gate: This company is developing a range of underwater remotely operated vehicles. The ROV Gelibolu can operate at depths up to 1500 meters. It’s primary use will be submarine rescue on board Moship. Other tasks are deep sea survey, seismic research, sample collection and such. The ROV has two manipulator arms and 7 thrusters.

Another underwater vehicle build by GATE is GMK-C. Unlike the Gelibolu GMK-C is autonomous. It can operate up to 100 meter depth and can be equipped with forward looking or side-scan sonars, cameras and other types of sensors or transponders.

Rolls Royce: I must admit that I was quite surprised to see a model of a fully developed supply ship in the both of this company. I knew that they were supplying gas turbines and nuclear reactors for ships and submarines but I had no idea that they were also producing ships. It is too early to say whether this new ship will become a new Silver Shadow for the company but it is a logical step. Rolls Royce already produces a wide range of shipping equipments such as engines, bearings, rudders, water jets, stabilizers, steering gear, deck machinery just to name a few. Well the only and most obvious omission in this portfolio was a ship hull and they have it now.

The ship in contest for a Norwegian bid resembles in general design and specifications the Berlin class EGV ships of German Navy.

BAE Systems: When BAE systems bought UDI in 2005 they have become a partner in UDI’s joint venture with Nurol Makina in Turkey. This JV, FNSS is a major manufacturer of tracked armored fighting vehicles and personnel carriers. Now BAE wants to expand its business in naval area too. I will report in depth my talk with BAE Systems separately.

Lürssen, Abeking Rasmussen, B&V, HDW: These companies, once dominated the IDEF were present, but in a more humble and subtle way. More or less a shadows of their past.

IDEF’11 Update Part 1: Ongoing Naval Projects

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

Today is the last day of IDEF’11, 10th International Defence Industry Fair. I was visiting the fair for the least two days. It was very tiring event. But there are very to share.

I visited the first IDEF twenty years ago. And I can tell you that there has been a considerable change in the industry. Twenty years ago all the international house hold names of defence industry would come and show their latest gadgets or products and we would marvel at them. Now they are still here but much more humble and sincere. Twenty years ago BAE Systems would show its Type 26 Global Combat Ship and would try to sell it as is. Now they are looking for cooperation and work share and they are ready to have Turkish Navy configure the this as it wishes. I was able to talk about Type 26 with BAE systems in detail. I will write about it later.

The last fair two years ago had a very distinctive naval flair. This year that was not there. Well the obvious reason for this is that the projects of then are swimming ships of today. F-511 TCG Heybeliada, the first ship of Milgem class, P-1200 TCG Tuzla the first ship of the New Type Patrol Boat class were available for external sighting. All these ships were on project phase during the last fair.

This fair’s main attractions were tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, UAV’s and helicopters. But never the less there were a lot of important developments regarding the ongoing naval projects.

Milgem: The first ship TCG Heybeliada will be commissioned in Turkish Navy in July. At the same day the second ship, F-512 TCG Büyükada will be launched.

The model of Moship

Moship/Ratship: The design phase for the submarine rescue ship Moship and two rescue and towing ships Ratship is continuing. I learned out to my surprise that Istanbul Shipyard, the builder was responsible for the whole ship inclusive the mission equipment. That means it is the shipyard will also provide the ROV, the McCann bells and other necessary equipment. It must be a steep learning curve for them. The contract for the production of these ships not signed yet. There was a speculation that it might be signed during the fair but this did not happened.

Model of LST

LST: The contract for the construction of a new LST’s was signed between Ministery of Defence and ADIK_Furtrans shipyard on 11 May 2011. The value of the contract was not disclosed but the ship will be delivered in 48 months. The ships will carry 525 persons, 17 MBT and between 24 – 60 vehicles.

The armament consists of 2 single barrelled 40mm Oto Melara guns, 2 Mk15 Phalanx CIWS, 2 machine guns on a stabilised 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 Link16/22 system. All these sensors and weapons will be controlled by a 5 consoles of GENESIS CMS.

New Type Patrol Boats: The first boat of this class P-1200 TCG Tuzla was launched in 2011 and was handed over to Turkish Navy in 4 January 2011. The second boat P-1201 TCG Karaburun was handed over to Turkish Navy on 19 April 2011 for temporary acceptance. The third and fourth boats, P-1202 TCG Köyceğiz and P-1203 TCG Kumkale are launched as early 2001 and they are currently under going sailing acceptance tests and harbour acceptance test respectively. The fifth boat P-1205 TCG Tarsus will be launched in this month.

In the mean time the construction of the two boats ordered by Turkmenistan in October 2010 is continuing. Dearsan shipyard has shipped the boats in kits, along with the equipment necessary for the construction. According to IDEF’11 Show Daily, the construction of two boats is about to be completed and the installation of the propulsion system will commence soon. These have a very similar weapon and sensor configuration to Turkish boats. The main difference is the Turkmenistan boats will have a Thales Variant 2D air/surface search radar and a pair of 25mm Aselsan STOP systems.

Type 214 Submarines: Interestingly there was very little information available about the current status of this programme. But credit contract for this programme was signed at the end of 2010 thus I assume everything is going as scheduled. Currently STM the main subcontractor of this project is sourcing 18000 components and materials to be used. This is a time consuming process. I do not expect any important development in this project before summer.

TCG Karaburun Entered Into Service

TCG Tuzla, the first ship of her class, sister of TCG Karaburun.

The second boat of the New Type Patrol Boat, P-1201 TCG Karaburun was handed over to Turkish Navy on 20 April, 2010 Wednesday 19 April 2011.

This is a temporary commissioning as the warranty period of the shipyard is still valid. The boat will be handed over to Turkish Navy permanently after the expiration of the warranty period.

These patrol boats will replace 16 old patrol boats Turkish Navy is currently using. These new boats  have a  40mm gun, 2 STAMP stabilized remote controlled machine gun platforms with one 12,7mm machine gun each and a ASW mortar as main weapons.

The main duty of these boats is to protect important harbors, perform coastal patrol and ASW missions.

In May 2007, Dearsan Shipyard was awarded with the 550 million USD contract by with SSM. The shipyard’s in-house naval design team developed the boats. This is the first ship building programme of this size, where warships for Turkisy Navy are being built in a private shipyard.

About 70 per cent of the programme is local content, including: Aselsan built stabilized remote controlled machine gun platforms, FLIR, anti-submarine rocket launcher, Roketsan built ASW rockets, Havelsan built navigation, communications, command-and-control and weapon systems and Yaltes built operator consoles and tactical bridge display units.

Turkmenistan is the first international customer for these boats. In February it was announced that two of these boats will be built in a shipyard on the Caspian Sea for Turkmenistan. The construction will be supported by Dearsan and material packages from Turkey.

I wish P-1201 TCG Karaburun, following seas and friendly winds.

New Photos Of F-511 TCG Heybeliada and P-1200 TCG Tuzla

F-511 TCG Heybeliada

P-1200 TCG Tuzla

Over the weekend I was able to take photos of the two warships that have been pride of the Turkish naval shipbuilding industry. P-1200 TCG Tuzla made her first port visit in Istanbul. F-511 TCG Heybeliada is continuing her sea trials.

>My Impressions From Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology Trade Fair


I have attended the firstday of the SSM exhibition and conference. It was not quite as I wasexpecting.

Mr. Serdar Demirel,Head of Naval Department, Undersecretariatfor Defence Industries, was also listed as a speaker. He was therebut during his short speech he mentioned that he did not expected tomake any speeches today, therefore he was not prepared at all. Wellthis is a major for the organizators.
Naval shipbuildingprojects are the life line of the Turkish ship building industry inthese dire years. Thus although SMMM is a civilian orientated tradefair the military side of Turkish shipbuilding industry could havebeen stressed better.
One factor for the obviouslack of interest and presence of shipyards with ongoing militaryprojects may be the upcoming IDEF exhibition in May 2011.International Defence Industry Fair is the trade fair for the defenceindustry in this region and most probably the companies allocatedtheir budgets for this event.
After the openingspeeches, the first session of the conference started with anexcellent presentation of Mr. Taner Akkaya, Military ProjectsCoordinator, Dearsan Shipyard. He talked about the New Type PatrolBoat project.

The first boat of thisclass P-1200 TCG Tuzla was delivered to Turkish Navy on 4 January2011. Currently Turkish Navy is conducting its own acceptance testsbefore this boat is officially commissioned. In an unprecedented moveTurkish Navy decided to give a proper name to these boats. In TurkishNavy tradition such boats were called TCG ABxy. AB is theabbreviation of A(vcı) B(otu), which means hunter/patrol boat and xyis the last two numbers of the boats pennant number. But the firstboat of this class is christened as TCG Tuzla in honor of the mostimportant shipbuilding region of Turkey.

Before handing the boatover to the Turkish Navy, Dearsan realized 63 FAT’s, 81 HAT’s, 71SAT’s and a 2400 miles long cruise. The trials speed was 2,5 knotsover the contract value. The shipyard more fuel tanks than demanded.These additional fuel tanks increase the endurance of the boats from3 days to 7 days. During the trials the boat covered 1300 miles at14 kntos %30 more than specified in the contract.

Mr. Akkaya stressedthrough his presentation that Dearsan’s in house designing team wasresponsible for the design of these boats from sketch. This might bein defence of the rumors that these boats resemble very much RAN’sArmidale class very much. He also mentioned the difficulties theyhave experienced with the sub contractors. Most of the sub contractswere chosen from companies that previously participated in Milgemproject and know how to work for a naval shipbuilding project. Neverthe less some sub contractors did not have the necessary security,class and quality certifications and these companies were financed byDearsan for the certification process. This highlight one importantweakness of the industry: creating, maintaining and updating thedocuments such as user manuals, quality and warranty certificates andsuch.

An interesting point in MrAkkaya’s presentation was when he mentioned an article of thecontract they have signed for this project. According to article 14Turkish State, as a party of the contract promised that all StateInstitutions would provide all the possible help for the fulfillmentof this contract. This is a very odd clause and is an obvious signthat Turkey takes these shipbuilding projects very seriously.
What Mr Akkaya did not sayduring his presentation was the fact that Dearsan succeeded inselling two of these boats to Turkmenistan. The estimated contractvalue is 100 million USD.

Following thispresentation was a questions and answer season with Mr. Akkaya andMr. Demirel. I will not write all the questions and answers inlength, just highlights that I found worth sharing:

  • Turkish Navy and Undersecretariat for Defence Industries are very proud on Milgem andthe impact Milgem project had over the Turkish shipbuilding industry.The Milgem project achieved an important change for a civilian marketoriented industry that had no idea on military shipbuildingstandarts.
  • UDI regards the secondship of the Milgem class TCG Büyükada as a second prototype. Somechanges and improvements were incorporated in this ship, that werepreviously unthinkable or considered too bold. But soon a privateshipyard will be selected as the producer for the remaining Milgems.
  • Marine propulsion is setas the next important milestone bu UDI. This fact was emphasizedagain today. UDI is currently in talks with MTU, MAN and other marinepropulsion manufacturers for production in Turkey. Marine propulsionis regarded very critical:
  • a) It is the most crucialsub system that is not produced in Turkey.
    b) If Turkey manages toinstall indigenous built propulsion in locally built warships a verybig hurdle in exporting Turkish warships will be overcome.

  • UDI sees a considerableexport potential in Milgem, NTPB and Fast LCT classes as theseprovide original solutions for navies. And the foreign sales of theseships are officially supported by UDI.

The trade fair willcontinue till Friday, 28 January. The conference will end tomorrowevening.

>TCSG-312 Upgraded With A STAMP


TCSG-312 with a new STAMP

Turkish Coast Guard craft TCSG-312 seems to have a brand new STAMP installed.

STAMP is a remote-controlled Stabilized Machine Gun Platform developed by Turkish defense contractor ASELSAN.

This fast response boat locally know as MRTP-33 class, was designed and build by Turkish Yonca-Onuk shipyard. Although there are 13 similar boats in service. Previously only one of them TCSG-307 had a STAMP installed.

When commissioned in October 2008, TCSG-312 was armed with a 20 mm manually aimed automatic gun like the rest of her class. Today’s photo show that she has received a STAMP with (probably) a 12,7mm machine gun installed. The MRTP class boats can make 75 knots on calm seas and up to 60 knots on 3 sea force. It is impossible for anybody to stand on board  leave alone operating a gun. The STAMP was developed out of this neeed.

STAMP on Georgian patrol boat Sokhumi

Though made by a Turkish company the introduction of STAMP and STOP (Stabilised Gun Platform) into armed forces has been initially slow.
STAMP was exported to Georgia on board of a MRTP-33.

Two STAMP’s are installed on board of Milgem Class  F-511 TCG Heybeliada and following ships as close-in weapon system.

Two STAMPS are installed on P-1200 class New Type Patrol Boats against asymmetrical threats.

>More On 3. Naval Systems Seminar

>I have written my previous post after my visit at the Naval Systems seminar late at night. Now after reading by good friend Arda Mevlutoğlu’s blog post about 3. NSS I have remembered a few more things. You should read his excellent blog as he attended the second day of the seminar as well.

1. TF-2000 will be the main AAW warship of the Turkish Navy. UDI is spending a lot of time for developing a feasibility document. For the preparation of this document:
a. Existing AAW capable warships of various navies were visited
b. 46 answers to the RfI send from 35 companies were studies for sub systems
c. TÜBİTAK and 17 local companies were briefed on potential weapon and sensor systems of the ship and these were requested to prepare the necessary R&D projects
d. 90 offers for sub systems were analyzed

The plan is to construct 4 of these ships. Currently the project model has not been determined as the feasibility studies. It will be the coming of age project for Turkish ship building industry.

2. UDI is supporting Turkish companies to co operations with foreign firms in the following sub systems:
a. Main propulsion
b. Vertical launching systems
c. Radar technologies
d. Sonar technologies
e. HVAC systems
f. Future weapon systems (laser guns, kinetic weapons etc.)

3. Rolls Royce is interest in supplying the main propulsion systems for the TF-2000 warships.

4. Havalsan is developing a combat management system for submarines. Whether this system will be available in time for the Type 214 is not clear yet but the system will be ready for the successors of Type 214

5. Havelsan is working on integration Mk48 Mod6AT torpedoes in to the ISUS combat management system. For this the Turkish company is working together with Raytheon and Atlas Electronic.

6. Thales Naval Electronic Warfare (ex Marconi) offers their Sealion ESM system for the mid life modernisation project of Ay class (Type 209/1100) class submarines. Currently four of six submarines use the older generation DR 2000 ESM system from the same company.

>My Impressions From 3.Naval Systems Seminar


I have attended the first day of the naval systems seminar yesterday. The naval systems seminar has started as a one day event, three years ago. The aim was to bring the ship building industry, Turkish Navy and the procurement agency together to exchange ideas. This year’s event has spread on two days but my schedule prevented me to attend the second days presentations.

In the morning there were presentations of Mr. Murad Bayar, Under secretary for Defence Industries, and Mr. Serdar Demirel, the Head of Naval Platforms Department of UDI.

Mr Bayar’s presentation was important as it outlined the general situation of the naval projects of Turkey.

In 2005, when we had organised a meeting for the Turkish ship buıilding indusrty to present our vision and future procurement plans nobody tokk us seriosly. But today during the economical crisis al existing shipyards are comming to us to disscuss the futue projects.

This quotation of Mr Bayar, is a bold and honest statement. Most of the Turkish shipyards did not take UDI for serious, whey they were making easy money on commercial constructions. They did not want to take the extra burden of building to higher military standards, do the necessary documentation and follow the standards of project management, procurement etc. Now when there is very little commercial order on the books the military projects are getting very delicious. But for the most of the shipyards that train is long gone.

Mr. Demirel pointed out the current and future acquisition projects of Turkish Navy can only sustain 7 shipyards at the maximum. But even this number might be a little optimistic.

This means in the coming years there will be tougher bidding wars for the remaining projects among the shipyards.

He also mentioned that for the continuation of the current status quo in the industry the shipyards must protect their own suppliers as UDI protects the shipyards.

There were two more presentations in the morning session. One was made by RMK Marine shipyard of the Koç conglomerate: The other was done by the leading system entegrator Havalsan. Both companies wanted bigger pieces of the cake and asked for the next big naval projects like LPD and Milgem.

There were more presentations in the afternoon. But two stand out in my opinion. One was made by Navantia. The company presented their latest LPH Juan Carlos I which was commissioned in Spanish Navy recently. This presentation made me realize how complex a LPH/LPD is to design, build and operate. The ship must be a passenger ship (a Spartan one) for the military force she projects. The ship must be at the same time A RO/RO for the rolling stock of this military force. She must be a carrier for the air wing she carries. She must be a hospital ship for the wounded. She is a water factory and a bakery for the people in need at a time of a humanitarian disaster. And al these roles must be covered almost simultaneously.

The other presentation was from Dr. Ekber Onuk the vice president of the Yonca Onuk JV. He told us how the use of moderns construction aids such as CAD/CAM, the use of high tech materials and effective R&D helped the shipyard to become one of the leading companies in its sector. Theirs boats are sold to Georgia, Egpyt, UAE, Maleysia and Pakistan.

The most disappointing presentation of the day was made by BAE Systems Surface Ships. They presented theirs Type 45 destroyer and Type 26 frigate. But the presentation was so dull and the presenter was so unimpressive, I got the feeling that BAE Systems was not interesting in promoting their ships and was here only by gun point.

The news and gossip of the day can be summaries as:
1. The second SAR ship being constructed by RMK will be launched in November and the sea trails of the first ships will begin in December.
2. The first NTPB AB-1200 is scheduled for commissioning toward the end of the year.
3. There is a lot of progress made regarding the sea based guided weapon systems. The rumor is that the Norwegians are short of achieving a sales and export break through for their NSM.
4. The right conjuncture is being waited for the TF-200 air defence frigate and next generation of AOR’s. In other words the funding of these projects is not secure yet.
5. The sixth ship to receive the Genesis is F-495 TCG Gediz. She will also have the Mk-41 VLS systems integrated. But the 3D Smart radar will not be delivered on time so she will receive another overhaul for the radar. She is estimated to be ready at the end of the year but this estimation may be a little too optimistic.
6. Network centric warfare is a buzz word here too. New combat management systems will have integrated Link-11-16-22 capabilities.

And my impressions in general are:
1. There was more excitement in the air during the last year’s event. The companies were more eager to show off their projects and capabilities. This year that excitement was not evident.
2. The UDI is still going on the road map and industrial master plan it had created for the Turkish ship building. And the rest of the industry is at least for the time being willing to follow it.
3. The ongoing projects are well funded and there is no problem there. But how secure the funds of the impending or planed projects were never ever mentioned. Thus it remains as a big question mark.
4. While I was visiting the exhibition booths, I come up to MAM’s. There was on display the first sonar transducer ever built in Turkey. There was a very lovely and talkative guy, who explained me how they have worked on the first Turkish built national sonar transducer and how they have build the first national sonar as a system. He also told me how they constructed the national Underwater Research Center at MAM for R&D projects and calibration of the national sonar. The only catch was that this nice guy spoke only English and that with a heavy Slavic accent. He was everything but Turkish. Yet he was obviously happy and proud to be a part of this project. Applied physic, money and nationalism make strange bedfellows after all.

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