Chinese Warships Visited Istanbul

Type 054A frigate 532 Jingzhou (left) and Type 052C destroyer 150 Changchun docked to Istanbul Sarayburnu quay.

Type 093 replenishment tanker 890 Chaohu

Between 18 and 21 July 2017 a task force of 3 Chinese warship made a visit to Istanbul

Task Group 150 consisting of Type 052C destroyer 150 Changchun, Type 054A frigate 532 Jingzhou and Type 093 replenishment tanker 890 Chaohu have left China on 23 April 2017, on the 68th anniversary of the founding of the PLAN, for a goodwill voyage to some 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

The task force headed by Admiral Miao Hua were welcomed by Chinese Military Attaché to Ankara Zheng Qinli, Consul General to Istanbul Qian Bo and a group of Chinese citizens.

This year’s visit was very similar to the previous PLAN visit to Istanbul in 2012 and 2015. In both cases the PLAN fleet was made of one destroyer, one frigate and one replenishment ship.

In 2012 and in 2015 however the destroyer and the frigate have passed through the Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea. This year the ships stayed in Istanbul and have not transit through the Strait northbound. The PLAN task force spend 4 days in Istanbul and left for the Mediterranean.

Here are some close up photos of the destroyer Changhun:

And here are some close up photos of the frigate Jingzhou:

Turkish And Chinese Naval Forces Are Doing Reciprocal Port Visits


F-495 TCG Gediz arrives at naval port Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, for a 3-day visit. Photo: Xinhua/Li Qian


The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 550 Weifang in Istanbul.


The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 547 Linyi in Istanbul.


The Fuchi class replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 887 in Istanbul.


I think we are witnessing a rare moment in naval diplomacy. Turkish and Chinese Naval Forces are conducting reciprocal port visits.

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-495 TCG Gediz arrived at a naval port in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, on May 22, 2015 for a 3-day visit. As reported earlier she is on an a commemorative deployment to honor the sunken Ottoman sail frigate Ertuğrul in Japan. Therefore TCG Gediz is visiting the same ports Ertuğrul visited 125 years ago.

While TCG Gediz is in China, 3 PLAN warships, 550 Weifang, 547 Linyi and 887 Weishan Hu arrived today in Istanbul for a port visit. The ships have passed through the Çanakkale Strait yesterday morning and arrived in Istanbul this morning. The duration of the port visit is 5 days.

The Chinese do not talk much about the visit of the Turkish warship. And while the Turkish ship will be open to public visits, the Chinese ships in Istanbul are not open to visit, thought the Chinese allowed visitors on board, while they were in Russia earlier this month.

This double standard makes me, a very sad man.

PLAN Hovercraft Passed Through Turkish Straits

HHL New york

M/V HHL New York, passing through the Dardanelles with the first Pomornik class hovercraft of PLAN to China. Photo: Mr. Ahmet Güven

The Pomornik (Project 1232.3) class hovercraft built for the PLAN passed through the Turkish Straits; but not on her own power.

The craft was on board of M/V HHL New York, a special ship designed for large and difficult cargo. M/V HHL New York left the Ukrainian port Feodosia on 27 April 2013 and passed through Bosphorus on 30 April 2013 in the early hours of before sunrise. She passed through the Dardanelles later the same day.

This hovercraft , the world largest, is the first one of a class of four. The second one will also be constructed in Ukraine by JSC Feodosia Shipbuilding Company. The third and fourth vessels will be produced in China with Ukrainian help.

The ship was built at JSC “Feodosia shipbuilding company” Sea “, which is part of DC” Ukroboronprom “for the needs of Chinese navy. Currently, the company continued the construction of the second ship of Project 958 for the Chinese customer.
  Under a contract signed before the JSC “Feodosia shipbuilding company” Sea “for the Chinese navy will build two amphibious hovercraft project 958. Two of these vehicles will be built with the participation of Ukrainian specialists in the use of domestic components in China.
  The world’s largest amphibious landing hovercraft Project 958 is designed to receive unequipped or equipped with a bank of equipment and personnel marines, shipping them by sea, landing on unequipped coast and fire support landing forces.It can also make transporting mines and setting mine barrages.

The Commander Of PLAN Ended His Visit To Turkey

Amirals Wu Shengli and Bilgel. Photo: Official Turkish Navy photo.

It is a little bit old but I think it is too important not to write about it.

Wu Shengli, member of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and commander of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), returned to Beijing on the afternoon of October 10, 2012 after his successful official goodwill visit to the Republic of Turkey.

During his visit to Turkey, Wu Shengli called on Ismet Yilmaz, Turkish minister of national defense, and visited such Turkish military organizations as surface ship and submarine units, marine brigade, naval aviation force and the Turkish Naval Officer Academy.

Adm. Emin Murat Bilgel, commander of the Turkish Navy, held a welcome ceremony for Wu Shengli and held talks with Wu Shengli. Bilgel extended his warm welcome to Wu Shengli for his visit to Turkey and hoped to take the visit as an opportunity to further promote exchanges and cooperation between the two navies.

What they have talked about is up to speculations.

Chinese Puzzle Solved

The PLAN replenishment tanker Weishan Hu.

All warships of the 11th Chinese naval escort task force of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are all present and accounted for.

The activities of the destroyer Quingdao 113 and the frigate Yantai 538 were easier to follow and to report. But the replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 877 was unaccounted for since she entered into the Mediterranean Sea. On Saturday she arrived at Dardanelles and passed it entering to Marmara Sea. She did not passed through the Bosphorus though. She is currently in Istanbul with Quingdau conducting a good will visit. And the frigate Yantai is in Varna.

Weishan Hu can carry 10500 tons fuel, 250 tons of water, 680 tons of ammunition.

Here is a short summary of the activities of PLAN ships since they have entered into the Mediterranean Sea:

Quingdao Yantai Weishan Hu
23 July Suez Suez Suez
29 July Dardanelles Dardanelles  – ? –
30 July Bosphorus Bosphorus  – ? –
31 July Sevastopol Constanta  – ? –
4 August Underway Underway Dardanelles
5 August Istanbul Varna Istanbul

Missing Chinese Warship Passed Through Dardanelles

When the Chinese Naval Escort Task Force, consistung of he Ludu (Type 052A) class destroyer 113 Qingdao, the Jingkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 538 Yantai and the Nanyun class replenishment tanker.

Weishan Hu 887 passed through the Suez canal, the destroyer and the frigate entered into the Black Sea to conduct good will visits. But the whereabouts of the tanker was not known.

Well the missing piece of information is now complete. The tanker Weishan Hu passed  through Dardanelles and entered into the Marmara Sea. According to Turkish news reports the destination of the tanker was not disclosed.
Click here for the photo and the article.

The Activity Of PLAN Ships In The Black Sea (Part 2)

There is she! The PLAN frigate Yantai, arriving at Constanta port, Romania. Photo: Xinhua/Gabriel Petrescu

Yesterday, when I have reported about the Sevastopol visit of the PLAN destroyer Quigdao, I have asked where the PLAN frigate Yantai have disappeared. Today she has appeared in Constanta, Romania for an official visit until 4th August 2012.

This answers my question about the whereabout of the Chinese warships in the Black Sea. The replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 887 is still unaccounted for.

According to excellent Romanian military blog the frigate Yantai will conduct a good will visit in Romania. This is the google translation of the blog post for more details:

Corroborating information on Romanian Navy website and published in the newspaper Old citing news agency ITAR-TASS, we announce the following:– Chinese ships entered the Black Sea at the invitation of Ukraine;

– Two Chinese ships were involved in anti-piracy mission in Gulf of Aden desfpăşurată;
– Destroyer Qingdao will make a stopover in Sevastopol between 31 July and 5 August;
– Yan-Tai frigate will be calling at the port of Constanta in period 31 July to 4 August.
Regarding the visit of Chinese ship in the port of Constanta, find the press release no. 34 issued by the Romanian Navy General Staff, the following:

On this occasion the Chinese sailors will be welcomed by the local civil and military, will visit the frigate “Regina Maria” school ship “Mircea” The Romanian Navy Museum and participate in sports competitions with Romanian soldiers sailors at Naval Academy “Mircea “. Also, the crew will visit some tourist attractions in Constanta.

For more photos of Yantai in Constanta click here.

The Activity Of The PLAN Ships In The Black Sea

The Jingkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 538 Yantai of PLAN passing through Bosphorus

The Ludu (Type 052A) class destroyer 113 Qingdao of PLAN passing through Bosphorus

With each passing day more information surfaces about the PLAN warships that passed through the Turkish Straits and entered to the Black Sea. Apparently The Ludu (Type 052A) class destroyer 113 Qingdao, the Jingkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 538 Yantai and the Nanyun class replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 887 made up the 11th Chinese Naval Escort Task Force. This PLAN task force was escorting merchant ships during the pirate infested water for the last 4 months.

According to the below article, one week ago they have left their are of responsibility and started their current journey and will visit Turkey too.

Now Qingdao is in Sevastopol will stay there till 4th August.

The 11th Chinese naval escort taskforce of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) left the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somali coast where the taskforce had conducted escort missions for more than four months and embarked on its new voyage of visits on July 23, 2012.

Up to now, the 11th Chinese naval escort taskforce has accomplished 43 escort missions for 184 Chinese and foreign ships, effectively coped with and repelled the harassments by 126 suspected pirate boats in 58 batches, and ensured the safety of the escorted ships and the taskforce.

After its departure from the waters of the Gulf of Aden, the 11th Chinese naval escort taskforce is scheduled to pay a friendly visit to Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria and Israel successively in two columns. It is the first time for the Chinese naval ships to visit Romania, Bulgaria and Israel.

But there are still some unanswered questions:
1) The The Ludu class destroyer Qingdao entered to the port of Sevastopol today. But where is the frigate Yantai? She did not appeared in Sevastopol. So where is she, in Romania or Bulgaria?
2) Where is the tanker Weishan Hu? She did not follow the other ships into the Black Sea; she did not passed through the Turkish Straits. So she must be still in the Med. But where?

For the answer to question 1 click here.

Two PLAN Ships Passed Through The Bosphorus

I love how it feels when the things turn out more or less as the way you have planned. Since I first heard yesterday, that two PLAN warships passed through the Dardanelles and are heading for the Black Sea I was thinking in my head How I could intercept them at a suitable point in Istanbul with a good light. As the photos below will testify I was able to realize my plans.

Japanese and South Korean warship do regularly visit Istanbul, but we do not see many Chinese warships in the part of the world. This is the first time I am seeing any Chine warships in my long career of ship spotting and photographing.

And there are three of them. These two are in the Black Sea and according to the news there is a third one some where in the Eastern Med.

I would appreciate it if someone could tell me A) where these two are heading and B) the name of the third one in the Med.

The Ludu (Type 052A) class destroyer 113 Qingdao of PLAN passing through Bosphorus

The Jingkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 538 Yantai of PLAN with Topkapı Palace and Hagia Sophia in the background. 

Click here and here for the activities of the PLAN ships in the Black Sea.

Two Chinese Warships Are In Turkey

The Jingkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 538 Yantai, passing through Dardanelles. Captured from the linked video.

I know the title of this blog does not says much but I do not have much info about this latest naval development either.

According to Turkish news portals, two Chinese warships the Ludu (Type 052A) class destroyer 113 Qingdao and the Jingkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 538 Yantai passed trough the Dardanelles this afternoon.

The ships entered the straits at around 14:00 local time and finished their transits at 16:45. Both ships are currently in the Marmara Sea and are heading to Istanbul. Their final destination is an undisclosed harbor in the Black Sea.

Here is a short video showing both ships in Çanakkale.


Click here for the photos of PLAN ships passing through Bosphorus.

Click here and here for the activities of the PLAN ships in the Black Sea.

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