TCG Gediz Takes Part In Dynamic Mongoose 2018

TCG Gediz as part of SNMG-1 takes part in the Dynamic Mongoose ASW exercise. During the exercise, she has crossed the Arctic Circle. Main photo: FRA N WO Christian Valverde, insert Turkish General Staff.

Gabya class frigate TCG Gediz is hunting for submarines at the top of the world. As Turkish contribution to the Standing NATO Maritime Group One TCG Gediz takes part in anti submarine warfare exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2018.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the frigate has crossed the Arctic Circle on 29th June.

Submarines from Norway under operational control of NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), will join 7 surface ships from Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Turkey under the command of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) Commodore Søren Thinggaard LARSEN. To support the simulated multi-threat environment, Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA’s) from Germany, Norway, and the United States will operate from Andoya Air Base under the operational command of NATO Maritime Air Command (COMMARAIR).

In March 2018 Turkish warship TCG Gaziantep took part in the southern ASW exercise Dynamic Manta held in Italy.

Below is the list of the participating units to Dynamic Mongoose 2018:

Number Name Country Type
F-363 HDMS Niels Juel Denmark Frigate
F-828 HNLMS Van Speijk Netherlands Frigate
F-831 HNLMS Van Amstel Netherlands Frigate
273 ORP General Tadeusz Kosciuszko Poland Frigate
Z-1 ORP Baltik Poland Tanker
F-101 ESPS Álvaro de Bazán Spain Frigate
F-495 TCG Gediz Turkey Frigate
Norway Submarine
Norway Submarine
P-3C Orion Norway Patrol plane
P-8A Posedion VP-10 USA Patrol plane
P-3C Orion Germany Patrol plane

Brilliant Mariner 2017 Has Kicked Off In France

A part of the NATO fleet gathering in Toulon for Brilliant Mariner 2017. Refer the numbers to the list below for identification. Photo: French Armed Forces.

A large fleet of warships gathered in French town Toulon this week. The ships are part of NATO Maritime Command’s both Standing NATO Maritime Groups (SNMG) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG-2). In addition to the four NATO task forces, France and Spain have sent additional ships for the exercise.

France will take command of the maritime component of the Nato Response Force (NRF) from 1 January 2018, for a period of one year. This exercise will create a suitable training for the French
Rapid Response Force Headquarter as well as the participating units.

According to French Armed Forces Brilliant Mariner 2017, will take place from 29 September to 13 October 2017 in the Mediterranean Sea with the participation of 3500 sailors and thirty of units  and numerous aircraft from 3 nations

Below is the list of the ships taking part in the exercise. For the names of the ships of the photo above please refer to the last column.

Number Name Type Nation Fleet Number In the Photo
H-88 HMS Enterprise Support ship UK SNMCMG2 17
M-261 TCG Edremit Mine hunter Turkey SNMCMG2 18
M-5558 ITS Crotone Mine hunter Italy SNMCMG2 8
339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada SNMG1 1
A-1443 FGS Rhoen Support ship Germany SNMG1
F-312 HNoMS Otto Sverdrup Frigate Norway SNMG1 7
F-334 NRP Francisco De Almedia Frigate Portugal SNMG1 10
F-363 HDMS Niels Juel Frigate Denmark SNMG1 2
F-805 HNLMS Eversten Frigate Netherlands SNMG1 3
F-83 ESPS Numancia Frigate Spain SNMG1 14
L-17 HDMS Esbern Snare Support ship Denmark SNMG1
D-34 HMS Diamond Destroyer UK SNMG2 4
F-103 ESPS Blas de Lezo Frigate Spain SNMG2 5
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey SNMG2 9
F-451 HS Limnos Frigate Greece SNMG2 12
F-710 FS La Fayette Frigate France SNMG2 15
A-608 FS Var Support ship France
D-621 Chevalier De Paul Destroyer France 6
D-643 FS Jean De Vienne Destroyer France
D-653 FS Languedoc Destroyer France
F-714 FS Guépratte Frigate France 16
L-61 ESPS Juan Carlos 1 LHD Spain 11
L-9013 FS Mistral LHD France 13
M-645 FS Orion Mine hunter France
M-648 FS Lyre Mine hunter France

Any additions and corrections are most welcome.

UPDATE: I have removed SNMCMG-1 as it is taking part in another NATO exercise.

Mavi Balina 2016 Naval Exercise


Romanian corvette, Contraamiral Horia Macellariu on her way to the Mavi Balina 2016 ASW exercise.

Yesterday, on 19th November 2016, anti submarine warfare exercise Mavi Balina (Blue Whale) has started. The exercise led by Turkish Navy will be held in Eastern Mediterranean.

The aim of the exercise is to increase the submarine warfare and ASW skill of the participating units. Turkish Navy is taking part with 4 frigates, one corvette and 5 submarines. Besides Turkey, Bulgaria, Canada, Pakistan, Romania, Spain and USA are also taking part in the exercise with warships.

The list of the participating units:

Number Name Type Country
41 BNS Verni Frigate Bulgaria
339 HMCS Charlottetown Frigate Canada
260 PNS Alamgir Frigate Pakistan
256 ROS Contraamiral Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
A-15 ESPS Cantabria Tanker Spain
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker Turkey
F-245 TCG Oruçreis Corvette Turkey
F-492 TCG Gemlik Frigate Turkey
F-493 TCG Gelibolu Frigate Turkey
F-496 TCG Gökova Frigate Turkey
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-503 TCG Beykoz Corvette Turkey
P-344 TCG Rüzgar Missile boat Turkey
P-345 TCG Poyraz Missile boat Turkey
S-351 TCG Doğanay Submarine Turkey
S-352 TCG Dolunay Submarine Turkey
S-354 TCG Sakarya Submarine Turkey
S-358 TCG Çanakkale Submarine Turkey
S-359 TCG Burakreis Submarine Turkey
64 USS Carney Destroyer USA

SNMG-1 Visiting Istanbul


Interestingly only the Canadian frigate has a floating barrier as a protection against small boats. Are the Spaniards and the Portuguese expendable or is there a specific thread against Canadian warship?


The Spanish frigate ESPS Blas De Lezo inside the flagship of SNMG-1 NRP Francisco de Almeida.


This is a very lonely Buffalo very far away from home.


HMAC Winnipeg has her legacy SPS-49 radar replaced with modern SMART Mk2 3D radar during The Halifax Class Modernisation/Frigate Life Extension (FELEX) programme.


The Spanish frigate ESPS Blas De Lezo inside the flagship of SNMG-1 NRP Francisco de Almeida. The difference of their sizes is very obvious in this photo.


Since 3 December 2015 the three ship strong NATO Standing Naval Group One is in Istanbul.Today I had the opportunity to go near to the ships and take some more photos.

NATO Maritime Group One In Istanbul

SNMG-1 is in Istanbul.

SNMG-1 is in Istanbul. ESPS Blaz De Lezo between the pier and NRP Francisco de Almeida. HMCS Winnipeg is right behind the Spanish ship.

On 3 December 2015 Standing NATO Maritime Group One, consisting of the flag-ship F-334 NRP Francisco de Almeida, F-103 ESPS Blaz de Lezo and FFG-338 HMCS Winnipeg arrived for a port visit in Istanbul.

The duration of this port visit was not announced. It is also not clear whether this visit was planed before the shooting down of the Russian Su-24M by a Turkish F-16C.

It is worth to note that this visit is happening just after the latest NATO announcement to boost Turkish security.

This is the second time in 2015 that SNMG-1 is visiting Istanbul. Click here and here to read on the previous visit.

SNMG-1 Left Istanbul


ZrMs Tromp passing Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet Mosque.


ZrMs Tromp heading to the Marmara Sea.


The flagship of the task force NRP D. Francisco De Almedia was first to leave.

The two ship strong Standing NATO Maritime Group-1 left Istanbul this morning.

SNMG-1 arrived in Istanbul on 24 July 2015, for a four day visit after spending 21 days in Black Sea with extensive training with Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

Unlike their previous passage through the Bosphorus, this time the ships sailed in broad day light making it much easier to take photos. Much appreciated.

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 Is In Istanbul

On 24 July 2015 Friday, the two ship strong Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 arrived in Istanbul for a port visit.
The task force made its northbound passage on 4 July 2015 late in the evening and spend the allowed 21 days exercising with Bulgarian and Romanian navies.

The ships are expected to leave Istanbul on 27 July 2015 Monday.

It is nice to see these ships in Istanbul and to observe them. Both ships are a result of the requirements of Netherlands Maritime Forces. Both ships are constructed in the Netherlands 9 years apart. The change in size, weaponry and sensors is striking. The change for a bigger ship with a emphasize on air defense.

The change for a bigger ship however resulted in reduced numbers. While there were 8 ship of the class of NRP De Almeida there are only 4 ships of the class of ZrMS Tromp.


ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida side by side. You can see the revolution in Dutch naval requirements. Both ship are constructed for Dutch Navy with 10 years apart.


ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida docked in Istanbul. The Portuguese ship is the flagship of the two ship strong task force.


Stern view of ZrMs Tromp and NRP De Almeida.The difference in size, sensor and armament is very obvious.


While the self-protection system and anti ship missiles remain the same the anti air missiles and the main target detection sensors has changed.


A side by side comparison of the two ships main detection and fire control sensors.


Portuguese Super Lynx helicopter: Hooters.


The main mast of ZrMs Tromp. From top: Thales Sabre ESM antenna, APAR fire control radar and Satcom antennas and Mirador electro optical system.


The main mast of ZrMs Tromp. From top: A seagull, Thales Sabre ESM antenna, APAR fire control radar


Mirador electro optical system.


Thales Smart -L 3D radar. This radar will receive ballistic missile detection capability after its upgrade in 2018.


The Mk32 Mod9 fixed torpedo tubes on ZrMs Tromp. I wonder why they have not covered them with a panel to further reduce the radar signature.


Signaal Goalkeeper CIWS system.


The main mast of NRP De Almeida. A top of the mast is the Signaal Smart 3D radar. The two STIR fire control radars are at the base of the mast.


The bridge of ZrMs Tromp with its navigation radars and communication antennas.

Sea Shield 2015 Naval Exercise

TCG Atılay passing through Istanbul, on her way to the Sea Shiel 2015 naval exercise in Romania. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

TCG Atılay passing through Istanbul, on her way to the Sea Shiel 2015 naval exercise in Romania. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

The Romanian led naval exercise Sea Shield 2015 has started on 20 July 2015.

The exercise will last till 24 July 2015 and is aimed at developing international cooperation in the defense area with similar structures of NATO member and partner states to strengthen and develop common procedures for battle.

Anti submarine warfare training is an important aspect of the exercise. The Turkish submarine S-347 TCG Atılay is acting as the hunter and the hunted. Turkey is the only NATO country that has operational submarines in the Black Sea. TCG Atılay is the first foreign submarine to visit Constanta in 7 years.

Of the other NATO countries Bulgaria has decommissioned its sole Romeo (Project 633) class BNS Slava in 2011 and terminated Bulgaria’s submarine force after 94 years. And Romania has one Kilo (Project 636) class submarine ROS Delfinul, which is in reserve status.

Standing NATO Maritime Group One is taking part in this exercise while SNMCMG-2 has left the Black Sea on 14 July 2015.

Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny is also taking part in this exercise.

Below is the list of the participants to this exercise:

Number Name Type Nationality
11 BGS Smeli Corvette Bulgaria
P-68 Daniolos Attack craft Greece
F-803 HNLMS Tromp Frigate Netherlands
F-334 NRP Francisco De Almeida Frigate Portugal
30 ROS Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Mine hunter Romania
188 ROS Zborul Corvette Romania
190 ROS Lăstunul Corvette Romania
264 ROS Cam. Eustaţiu Sebastian Corvette Romania
265 ROS Cam. Horia Macellariu Corvette Romania
F-221 ROS Regele Ferdinand Frigate Romania
F-222 ROS Regina Maria Frigate Romania
ROS Grozavul Tug Romania
F-240 TCG Yavuz Frigate Turkey
S-347 TCG Atılay Submarine Turkey
U-130 Hetman Sahaidachny Frigate Ukraine

Bulgaria Hosts Breeze 2015 Naval Exercise

TCG Enez (left) and TCG Barbaros (right) on their way to Varna. Both are taking part in Breeze 2015 exercise with  NATO SNMCMG-2 task force.

TCG Enez (left) and TCG Barbaros (right) on their way to Varna. Both are taking part in Breeze 2015 exercise with NATO SNMCMG-2 task force.

Bulgaria is hosting Breeze 2015 naval exercise from 3 to 12 July 2015. According to Bulgarian minisry of Defence 30 warships from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey and USA will take part.
Bulgaian Navy will contribute with 15 combat and auxiliary ships and boats, two helicopters and more than 1,000 personnel.

The main objective of the exercise is to improve the interoperability and interaction between the Navy included therein countries by practicing their participation in Operation in response to the crisis. Nineteenth edition of “Breeze” will contribute to improving cooperation in multinational environment with 21 state organizations, institutions and agencies from four ministries, local authorities and non-governmental and private organizations. Within the exercise will obtain certification of a ship of the Navy the Republic of Bulgaria – mine hunter “Tsibar” according to the methodology for assessment of NATO MAREVAL. Host of “Breeze 2015” Point is basing Varna Naval Base – Navy. July 6 (Monday) at 15.00. To 18.00. Of foreign warships based at Port Varna and Port Varna will be open to the citizens and visitors.


As usual, I have tried to find information about the participants. This is the list as far as I could compiled.

Number Name Type Nationality
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Mine hunter Turkey
M-36 ESPS Tajo Mine hunter Spain
S-350 TCG Yıldıray Submarine Turkey
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Attack craft Turkey
F-334 NRP Francisco De Almeida Frigate Portugal
F-803 HNLMS Tromp Frigate Netherlands
DDG-78 USS Porter Destroyer USA
189 Pescarusul Attack craft Romania
32 BGS Tsibar Mine hunter Bulgaria
41 BGS Drazki Frigate Bulgaria
42 BGS Verni Frigate Bulgaria

SNMG-1 Sneaked Through Istanbul


F-334 NRP D. Francisco de Almeida, the flag ship of SNMG-1, passing through Istanbul.


F-334 NRP D. Francisco de Almeida sneaking though Istanbul.


F-803 HNLMS Tromp making her northbound passage.


F-803 HNLMS Tromp, illuminated by a leisure boat, as she is passing though Istanbul.


F-803 HNLMS Tromp, passing though Istanbul.

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F-334 NRP D. Francisco de Almeida illuminated by the lights of the bridge. Photo: Saadettin Irmakçı. Used with permission.

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F-334 NRP D. Francisco de Almeida. Photo: Saadettin Irmakçı. Used with permission.

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F-803 Tromp, illuminated by the lights of the bridge. Photo: Saadettin Irmakçı. Used with permission.


F-334 NRP D. Francisco de Almeida. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


F-803 HNLMS Tromp and the moon. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two is not the only NATO naval task force deployed to Bulgaria this weekend.

On 4 July 2015 late in the night at 22.30 local time the SNMG-1 ships F-334 NRP D. Francisco de Almeida and F-803 HNLMS Tromp passed through Istanbul Strait. According to the publicly available information both ships have arrive at Varna port on 5 July 2015. They are going to take part in Breeze 2015 naval exercise.

Foreign warships do usually pass through the Turkish Straits in day light. The Montreux Convention orders only the submarines of Black Sea nations to pass through the Turkish Straits at day time. The transit passages of foreign warships through Turkish Straits must start in day time. The Convention does not openly regulates the ending of the transit passage of foreign warships. Never the less I must say that the timing of these warships was particular peculiar.

Both NRP D. Francisco de Almeida and F-803 HNLMS Tromp are actuality very beautiful Dutch ships (though the former is now under Portuguese flag) which do not need to hide themselves in the darkness of the night.

The word photography means writing with light. And as we all know the single largest and the most important source of light on earth is our sun. Thus photography is more fun when the sun is up. And the results are far more better.

But as you can see from the results day or night the ship spotters in Istanbul are ready to document the foreign warships passing through our beautiful city.

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