Photos Of BlackSeaFor Ships, As They Arrived In Istanbul

The April activation of the BlackSeaFor finished this week and the ships that took part have returned to their home ports. Istanbul was the last stop for the BlackSeafor fleet.

The following ships arrived in Istanbul on 20th April 2012 for the port visit.

Number
Name
Nation
Participants
158 RFS Tsesar Kunikov (Flagship) Russia Landing Ship
F-240 TCG Yavuz Turkey Frigate
13 BGS Reshitelni Bulgaria Corvette
264 ROS C.A. Eustatiu Sebastian Romania Corvette
U-311 UPS Cherkasy Ukraine Minehunter

I was able to take photos of these  ships as they have entered into Bosphorus. I was also able to visit them while they were in Istanbul and take photos on board. But that is stuff of another post.

For more news on April 2012, activation of the BlackSeaFor click here and here.

BlackSeaFor Task Force Will Leave Sevastopol

F-240 TCG Yavuz, entering Sevastopol harbor. Photo: Official Ukraine Armed Forces

On 17th April 2012, the ships of the BlackSeaFor naval task force will end their port visit in Sevastopol, Ukraine and will be sailing again for further training.

This is the google translation of the official announcement from the Ukraine Defence Ministry website:

April 10-12 ships, after four-day stay in the port of Constanta (Romania), which began on April 6 activation, on the way to Sevastopol on the Black Sea held a series of exercises, including the control of trade shipping, air and surface conditions, search and rescue , towing, cargo transfer, swimming in the order.

According to the visit, today, April 13, held a meeting protocol command prompt connection with ships acting commander of the type of Armed Forces of Ukraine Vice-Admiral George Il’yinym.

Vice Admiral George Il’yin at the meeting expressed satisfaction with the state of friendly relations in the framework agreement BLACKSEAFOR.

– The Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine responsible attitude to training and directly participate in activation, because we believe that the connection BLACKSEAFOR ships played a major role in maintaining peace and stability in the Black Sea region – said the acting commander of the Navy Armed Forces of Ukraine. He also expressed hope that the sailors BLACKSEAFOR member countries will remain the best references to stay in Sevastopol.

The commander of the operational connection BLACKSEAFOR captain 1 rank Yury Zemsky (Russian Federation), in turn, thanked the Ukrainian side for the warm welcome and stressed the importance of cooperation between the sailors to strengthen friendly relations.

Protocol meeting also took place in Sevastopol City State Administration.

Crews of ships BLACKSEAFOR during his stay in Sevastopol will be able to see the historical sights of the city.

14 and 15 April from 15.00 to 18.00 ships BLACKSEAFOR connection will be open to visiting guests and residents of Sevastopol.

As planned, 17 April operational international connection will be released from the port of Sevastopol on the implementation of other measures, the plan activation, will last through April 24.

For more news on BlackSeaFor’s April activation click here.

The April Activation Of The BlackSeaFor Has Started

158 RFS Tsesar Kunikov in Istanbul, in 2008.

On 6th April 2012 the Spring Activation of the call-on naval task force BlackSeaFor has started in Constanta, Romania.

The Russian Federation is in command of the BlackSeaFor since August 2011 and the Russian landing ship Tsesar Kunikov is the flagship of the force. This activation of the BlackSeaFor will last until 24th April. during this period the task force will spend 6 days underway and 12 days in visiting Constanta, Sevastopol and Istanbul.

This is the current composition of BlackSeaFor:

Number
Name
Nation
Participants
158 RFS Tsesar Kunikov (Flagship) Russia Landing Ship
F-240 TCG Yavuz Turkey Frigate
13 BGS Reshitelni Bulgaria Corvette
264 ROS C.A. Eustatiu Sebastian Romania Corvette
U-311 UPS Cherkasy Ukraine Minehunter

During this activation of the task force following activities are scheduled:

Peace support operation, and search and rescue training,
Participating in joint training Exercise Deniz Yıldızı 2012,
Maritime, tactical maneuvering and combat training.

HSV-2 Swift Passed Through The Turkish Straits

The Russian Kashin class destroyer Smetlivy was not the only interesting warship passing through the Turkish Straits these days.

The HSV-2 Swift made a quick dash to Constanta, Romania over the weekend and she is now in the vicinity of Bari, Italy.

According to Wikipedia, High Speed Vessel, HSV-2 Swift is a non-commissioned, hybrid catamaran originally leased by the United States Navy as a mine countermeasures and sea basing test platform. She is now privately owned and operated by Sealift Inc. and chartered to the United States Navy Military Sealift Command.

The marinetraffic.com website  logged the passing of HSV-2 Swift through Bosphorus and her short stay in Constanta.

Port
Vessel’s Name
Arrival Time (LT)
Departure Time (LT)
ISTANBUL HSV 2 SWIFT 2012-04-01 06:33 2012-04-01 07:46
CONSTANTA HSV 2 SWIFT 2012-03-31 18:45 2012-03-30 08:53
ISTANBUL HSV 2 SWIFT 2012-03-27 14:21 2012-03-27 15:37

I was not able to take photo of her as she was passing through my hometown. I would welcome any additional information about the mission of Swift in Romania and her current deployment.

Romania Ratifies U.S. Missile Shield Agreement

According to Defence News, Romanian parliament ratified to host ballistic missile intercepting missiles on her soil as she has agreed before.

The Romanian parliament ratified an accord to host U.S. missile interceptors on its soil on Dec. 6, a day before a meeting of the 28 NATO members in Brussels.

The Senate unanimously adopted the draft law ratifying the Romania-U.S. agreement signed in September that would allow the establishment and operation of a U.S. land-based ballistic missile defense system in Romania as part of NATO’s efforts to build a continental missile shield.

“The location of some elements of the U.S. missile shield represents a very important contribution to the security of Romania, the U.S. and the entire alliance,” Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi told senators, according to Mediafax news agency.

The draft law was adopted by the lower house in November and is now set to be promulgated by President Traian Basescu.

The deployment of the missile interceptors is expected to take place in 2015 at a former airbase in southern Romania.

 

Four European NATO members are playing key roles in this missile program:

  • Poland: Will host undefined numbers of land based version of the US Navy’s SM-3 missile.
  • Romania: Will host undefined numbers of land based version of the US Navy’s SM-3 missile.
  • Turkey: Will host an AN/TPY-2 radar as the warning system
  • Spain: Will host approximately 4 to 6 US Navy ships with BMD hardware and software installed.

There a few issues that bother me in this article.

Why it is called the U.S missile Shield? Isn’t this a NATO project? Isn’t this shield (which is not a shield but more or less a last-minute defence system) a joint project to protect all the NATO members from the enemy beyond NATO’s borders?

Will there be an increased precence of US Navy warships in the Black Sea untill the missile will be installed on Romanian base on land? Will be the SM-3 missiles, derived from the the curent SM-2/SM-3 familiy of missiles used by US Navy and many US allies ready in 20105?

Many questions, few answers.

Romanian Coast Guard Vessel Stefan Cel Mare

The Romanian Coast Guard vessel MAI 1105 Stefan Cel Mare arrived in the morning of 5th August for a port visit in Istanbul. This is not the first time, that the Damen OPV 900 class vessel is in Istanbul.

She was funded by the European Union in order to strengthen the Border Police force of Romania. She has a length of 66 meters and is capable of making 21 knots.

HS Rodos And The BlackSeaFor Fleet Met In Varna

HS Rodos in Varna. Photo: Fox2Magazine Blog

According to the Greek defence blog Fox2magazine the Greek landing ship HS Rodos arrived in Varna, Bulgaria on 25th August 2011. She will be open to public visit on 26th and 27th 2011.

Interestingly, the fleet of the BlackSeafor also arrived in Varna for the last visit of the August 2011 activation. The ships left Trabzon, Turkey on 23th August and on their way to Varna they have performed numerous underway drills, such as control over surface situation, sailing in formations, tactical maneuvering, signaling and communications, observation over civil ships and airplanes, interception and search of a “violator” vessel, organization of air defense.

The activation of the BlackSeaFor will end on 29th August. It is not clear when HS Rodos will return from the Black Sea.

BlackSeaFor in Trabzon

The commanders of BlackSeaFor ships visit the governor of Trabzon.

The ships of the BlackSeaFor arrived in Trabzon for a four day port visit.

This is the first visit of the BlackSeaFor fleet to Trabzon in its 10 years existence. The next scheduled stop for the fleet is Varna, Bulgaria.

During the weekend the ships will be open for the public.

The visit of BlackSeaFor to Trabzon is noteworthy as there is a plan to develop a naval base in Trabzon. In 2009, the Chief of General Staff of that period, General Başbuğ mentioned about building a naval base in Trabzon, during his visit to this town.

The idea of establishing a naval presence in Trabzon was first discussed in public in March 2009. According to YeniÇağ newspaper General Başbuğ mentioned the increasing importance of Trabzon harbor and the need of establishing a permanent naval presence in this town. Nothing about this subject was discussed since in public.

The visit of The BlackSeaFor to Trabzon could be just another step into creating Trabzon as the next naval base in the Black Sea.

Following ships are taking part to this activation of BlackSeaFor:

Pennant
Ship
Type
Country
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
63 BGS Priboy Minesweeper Bulgaria
264 ROS E. Sebastian Corvette Romania
158 RFS Tsezar Kunikovl Landing Ship Russia
U-311 UPS Cherkasy Minesweeper Ukraine
Bosphorus Naval News

August 2011 Activation of BlackSeaFor

The August activation of the BlackSeaFor fleet has started on 12th August 2011. On 13th August 2011 the command of the BlackSeafor will pass from Romania to Russia. For this occasion there will be a ceremony in Novoroski harbor where the BlackSeaFor fleet currently is.

 The August 2011 activation of BlackSeaFor will continue till 29 August 2011. During this time the ships will spend 14 days on ports visits on 6 days on cruise. Trabzon, Turkey, Novoroski, Russia and Varna, Bulgaria are the ports of call.

 During this activation period the Blackseafor ships will

  • test newly prepared concepts for  peace support operations, NBC defense, and the rules of engagement
  • conduct sea keeping and ship handling, tactical maneuvering and communications training
  • execute a search and rescue training
  • visit ports of The Black Sea to consolidate friendship between nations and navies.

Following ships are taking part:

Pennant
Ship
Type
Country
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
63 BGS Priboy Minesweeper Bulgaria
264 ROS E. Sebastian Corvette Romania
158 RFS Tsezar Kunikovl Landing Ship Russia
U-311 UPS Cherkasy Minesweeper Ukraine
Bosphorus Naval News

USS Whidbey Island Takes Part In Naval Exercise Off The Coast Of Romania

A Romanian helicopter lands on USS Whidbey Island. Official US Navy photo.

US, amphibious dock landing ship LSD-41 USS Whidbey Island took part in the naval exercise Summer Storm 2011. The joint USA – Romanian exercise took part off the coast of Romania around Cape Midia.

According to US Navy, during the exercise, Romanian pilots made landings on the deck of USS Whidbey Island.

This is odd as unlike Bulgarian Navy, all major Romanian warships have a helicopter pad and hanger. Therefore the Romanian pilots do have enough opportunity to conduct deck landings.

Currently there are 8 naval pilots, the only aviators in that country’s navy, are members of “Black Sea Knights” and fly IAR-330 Puma helicopter.

The USS Whidbey Island is deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

For more photos from Summer Storm 2011 click here.

A Romanian helicopter lands on USS Whidbey Island. Official US Navy photo.

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