Kurtaran 2019 Submarine Rescue Exercise

TCG Alemdar. The main submarine rescue ship of the Turkish Navy.

Turkish Navy organized the third initiation of Kurtaran series submarine rescue exercises between 27 and 31 May 2019.

This year the submarines TCG Gür, TCG 1. İnönü and TCG Dolunay, submarine rescue ship TCG Alemdar, rescue and salvage ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın, frigate TCG Gelibolu, minehunter TCG Akçay, patrol boat TCG Köyceğiz, one P-235 maritime patrol aircraft, one SH-70 ASW helicopter from Turkish Navy took part in the exercise as well as one AS-535 Cougar helicopter from Turkish Army, one C-130 Hercules cargo plane from the Turkish Air Force. One P-8 Poseidon ASW plane from US Navy also participated in the exercise.

Turkish Navy operates one dedicated submarine rescue mother ship TCG Alemdar and two rescue and salvage ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın. All of them have taken part in the exercise. TCG Alemdar can act as mother ship both for NATO Submarine Rescue System and US Navy Submarine Rescue System if needed.

Kurtaran 2019 started on 27th May with the pre-deployment briefing. On 28th May the surface units and aircraft honed their skill in finding the 3 submerged disabled submarines (DISSUB) sitting at the bottom of the sea.

On 29th May, the first training was to render assistance to submariners who were forced to leave the DISSUB by rush escape. Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team similar in function to the Royal Navy’s Submarine Parachute Assistance Group made jumps from a C-130 cargo plane to help these submariners. The team of 12 jumped in 3 parts as the plane made 3 passes over the submariners waiting to be rescued. The Parachute Search and Rescue Team quickly inflated several life rafts and biding them creating a support base. They have used the RHIBs to collect the submariners from the water and rendering the first aid at the support base. Later they were brought to TCG Alemdar.

There is a wide range of medical facilities on board of TCG Alemdar including one full functional operation room, one x-ray room, a five-bed medical ward, and two hyperbaric chambers. Each chamber can hold 22 persons. The SMERAT team performed a quick triage and treated the patients according to their injuries and sufferings. Those who needed to be transferred to a more advanced medical facility were evacuated by the Land Forces’ Cougar helicopter.

TCG Alemdar search with her onboard sensors for the DISSUB played by TCG 1. İnönü. After locating the submarine TCG Alemdar positioned herself over the submerged disabled submarine. Using her active position controlling systems the rescue ship was able to stay on the exact spot for the remainder of the exercise.

First, the remotely operated underwater vehicle TCB Istakoz 1 was lowered to the submarine. The ROV was constructed by a Turkish company and can operate up to 1000 meters depth. Following the contact with the DISSUB, a diver immersed to the submarine inside the atmospheric diving system. The diver in ADS brought an emergency life support store containing urgently needed supplies by the submarine. The diver placed the emergency life support store inside the submarines escape trunk located inside the sail. The diver in ADS also connected the down-haul cable to a special pad-eye on the submarine hatch. The cable was later used by the submarine escape chamber to align itself with the submarine and mate.

The McCann bell type submarine escape chamber was lowered to the submarine. This type of submarine escape chamber is old but proven technology and can be used for evacuating personnel from the submarine if the pressure inside the submarine is not above one atmosphere and the submarine is not deeper than 207 meters. The chamber descended to the submarine and mated successfully. Two submariners entered the chamber and it resurfaced.

This was the final training for the day. TCG 1. İnönü reemerged from the depths and both vessels returned to the base. While TCG Alemdar was training with TCG 1.İnönü, the other two ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın were also conducting similar activates with the other submarines.

On 30th May, the submarine TCG 1. İnönü bottomed at 30 meters depth. During this exercise, sailors left the submarine via the escape trunk, donned Mk 10 Submarine Escape Immersion Ensemble and surfaced freely. The units waiting on the surface rescued them.

The exercise ended on 31st May with the post-exercise briefing.

TCG 1. İnönü. She dived to 75 meters and waited at the bottom of the sea.

Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team jumped from a C-130 Hercules cargo plane of Turkish Air Force

The injured submarines rescued by the Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team rushed to the medical area on board TCG Alemdar.

The command consoles of the two hyperbaric chambers on board of TCG Alemdar.

An AS-532 Cougar helicopter of the Turkish Land Forces is waiting to pick up the evacuee to bring him to the land.

TCB Istakoz 1 is the name of this ROV. Istakoz means lobster in Turkish. I can only admire the humor of the godfather of this device. It has two arms with 7 functions. Two pilots are required to use this ROV. One operates the ROV, the other arms.

An image from an ROV as it is attaching ventilation cables to the submarine TCG Doğanay.

the pilot inside the atmospheric diving suits concentrates on his tasks before starting his long and lonely dive into the dark sea.

This is an emergency life support store. It can fit inside the escape trunk of NATO submarines and used to deliver urgently needed supplies to the DISSUB

The crew enters the submarine rescue chamber.

Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-27 intercepts a sailing boat that mistakenly entered the training area.

TCG 1. İnönü resurfaces after playing DISSUB for 10 long hours.

TCG Akın Decommissioned

Here is a photo from 2015 showing TCG Akın sailing through Bosphorus.

Today the long career of TCG Akın in naval service has finished. The ship can have a well-earned rest after 75 years.

TCG Akın began her life as USS Greenlet, a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship in the United States Navy. She was launched in 1942 and served in US Navy during World War 2, Korean War and Vietnam War. She was even in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered in 1945.

On 12 June 1970, she was decommissioned from US Navy service and immediately commissioned in Turkish Navy at Pearl Harbor Naval Submarine Base. Her transfer to Turkey took 40 days.

She was the sole dedicated submarine rescue ship untill the commissioning of TCG Alemdar in 2017.

I wish this old and elegant lady to be restored as a museum but most like she will either sunk during an exercise or scrapped.

Anyway, thank you for the service.

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 Akın Launched

A584

A-584 TCG Akın prior her launching. Photo: aksam.com

I know this headline is confusing as there is already one ship named as TCG Akın in Turkish Navy inventory. But apparently her days are limited.

The ship today launched is the second of the two RATSHIP (Rescue and Towing Ship) Istanbul Shipyard is constructing for Turkish Navy. Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010. The submarine rescue ship A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched on 29 April 2014. And the first RATSHIP, A-583 TCG Işın was launched on 25 June 2014.

According to the press release of Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the rescue and Towing ship will be capable of towing the broken down, wrecked and ran ashore ships as well as fire-fighting. Moreover, she, which will be equipped by the modern rescue systems and equipment such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV), atmospheric diving suit, submarine ventilation system, pressure rooms etc., can also perform the underwater repair works and wreck removal.

The complete design, construction, outfitting and integration of the Rescue and Towing Ship are being performed by Istanbul Shipyard. In this scope, the total industry participation and offset percentage of 65% enables the utilization of Turkish industry capabilities through the acquisition of the construction material and services as well as most of the systems integrated on the vessel.

TCG Işın Launched

A-583 TCG Işın before the launching. Photo: stargundem.com

A-583 TCG Işın before the launching. Photo: stargundem.com

I know this headline is confusing as there is already one ship named as TCG Işın in Turkish Navy inventory. But apparently her days are limited.

The ship today launched is the first of the two RATSHIP (Rescue and Towing Ship) Istanbul Shipyard is constructing for Turkish Navy. Istanbul Shipyard a private company, was selected to build one submarine rescue ship and two salvage and rescue ships by SSM in June 2010. The submarine rescue ship A-601 TCG Alemdar was launched on 29 April 2014.

According to the press release of Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, the rescue and Towing ship will be capable of towing the broken down, wrecked and ran ashore ships as well as fire-fighting. Moreover, she, which will be equipped by the modern rescue systems and equipment such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV), atmospheric diving suit, submarine ventilation system, pressure rooms etc., can also perform the underwater repair works and wreck removal.

The complete design, construction, outfitting and integration of the Rescue and Towing Ship are being performed by Istanbul Shipyard. In this scope, the total industry participation and offset percentage of 65% enables the utilization of Turkish industry capabilities through the acquisition of the construction material and services as well as most of the systems integrated on the vessel.

The new A-583 TCG Işın will be handed over to Turkish Navy in January 2015.  That means the days of the old and veteran A-589 TCG Işın are limited.

This is the video of the launch:

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