Can NATO Really Help With The Migrant Crisis In Aegean? (Part 2)

The year 2015 will be remembered by the horrendous stories of ordinary people who had to leave their homes, possessions, who had to made painful and dangerous voyages to reach Europe just to survive.
If you think the refuge crises was bad in 2015 it will be a lot worse in 2016.

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Numbers of irregular migrants rescued from the sea by Turkish Coast Guard in the frist two months of 2015  and 2016.

First the number of people trying to cross Aegean to go To Europe has increased dramatically. According to the statistics of Turkish Coast Guard number of refuges rescued from the sea in the first two months of 2016 is 14.378. This represents an almost 10 fold increase compared to same period in 2015.

Furthermore to make the things far more worse these numbers will climb higher as thousands of Syrians are running away from their demolished villages and towns because of the indiscriminate bombing of Russian Air Force on behalf of Syrian regime. The high water mark may still to come.

And European countries are not offering the even the lukewarm welcome they have given to the refuges in 2015. Existence of these immigrants are causing sever political tensions in most of the host countries. These tensions will have dire consequences for all political parties in the next election cycle.

Since Europe doesn’t want to harbour any more refugees it is trying to stop the influx by protecting its sea borders more efficiently.

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To hop across the Aegean is still the most convenient way to reach for Europe.

The Aegean Sea offers the most convenient router for the refugees. The close proximate of many Greek island to Turkish mainland makes it possible for thousands of refugees to reach to EU by entering Greece. The sea trip from Turkish mainland to Greek islands on overfilled and unstable RHIBs is often dangerous and deadly. %90 percent of 316 irregular immigration incidents in the first two months of 2016 have happened in Aegean according to Turkish Coast Guard.

Since early February, NATO, EU, Greece  and Turkey are trying to formulate plans how NATO’s assigned maritime task force SNMG-2 will perform its anti-immigration operation in the Aegean Sea.

This operation was conceived right after the German Chancellor Frau Merkel’s visit to Turkey in early February 2016.  Germany, Greece and Turkey proposed and in a record-breaking 3 days’ time NATO’s Foreign Ministers have approved the plan to commit SNMG-2 for this mission.

SNMG-2 currently consists of German Navy flagship FGS Bonn, Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Fredericton, Turkish Navy frigate TCG Barbaros and Greek Navy frigate HS Salamis. France and Great Britain have also disclosed that they are sending warships to reinforce the task force. The units are patrolling in the assigned areas and conducting reconnaissance, monitoring and surveillance activities.

According to a press release from 6th March, the commanders of NATO have defined SNMG-2’s area of activity in close consultation and coordination with both Greece and Turkey. Their activities in territorial waters will be carried out in consultation and coordination with both Allies. The purpose of NATO’s deployment is not to stop or push back migrant boats, but to help our Allies Greece and Turkey, as well as the European Union, in their efforts to tackle human trafficking and the criminal networks that are fueling this crisis.

NATO’s Maritime Command has also agreed with FRONTEX on arrangements at the operational and tactical level. NATO and FRONTEX will be able to exchange liaison officers and share information in real time, to enable FRONTEX, as well as Greece and Turkey, to take action in real-time.

NATO has gained some knowledge by conducting anti piracy operations in Gulf of Aden and must have the knowledge to differentiate between the small plastic boats full of immigrants and ordinary fishermen. Thus they may apply the lessons they have learned in Gulf of Aden for a good use in Aegean. I have personally talked with a few sailors of Turkish Coast Guard operation in Aegean and they are suffering from various psychological symptoms as they fish day after day dead bodies mostly children and women from the sea. Thus presence of a NATO fleet might ease their burden.

But I still have my misgiving about the intentions of NATO’s mission and I am very sceptical about this whole thing because instead of draining the swamp Europe is trying to kill the individual mosquitoes. And what makes this effort worse is that Europe uses the NATO hammer is stead of a fly swatter.

 

Can NATO Really Help With The Migrant Crisis In Aegean?

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Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 trains with Turkish Navy. From left to right: F-501 TCG Bodrum, 337 HMCS Fredericton, A-1413 FGS Bonn, F-494 TCG Gökova, F-244 TCG Barbaros

Last week NATO has decided in a very unorthodox speedy way -in a very un-NATO fashion- to deploy one of her naval task force to the Aegean sea to deter people-smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece.

Dispatching Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG-2)to the Aegean was not a big deal since the task force spend the previous week near Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris conducting joint trainings with Turkish Navy. The task force was literally just a few hours away when NATO Defence Ministers agreed that NATO should provide support to assist with the refugee and migrant crisis on 11 February 2016.

The SNMG-2 is made up by the A-1413 FGS Bonn, 337 HMCS Frederiction, ITS Libeccio and TCG Barbaros.  The flagship of the task force is the German auxiliary FGS Bonn. She is a combat stores ship capable of underway replenishment and can carry 7,850 tons fuel; 1,330 tons water; 280 tons cargo; 220 tons ammunition; 115 tons lubricants.  The others are frigates from Canadian, Italian and Turkish Navies, build to hunt and destroy enemy submarines and ships.

It is clear that none of these ships are specially designed to the given task of contribute critical information and surveillance to help counter human trafficking and criminal networks.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, stressed that this mission is “not about stopping or pushing back refugee boats,” but about contributing “critical information and surveillance to help counter human trafficking and criminal networks.” As part of the agreement, NATO will co-operate closely with national coastguards and the European Union. Military authorities are now working out the details of the mission.

And General Philip Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), said that deployment of SNMG-2 was not about stopping or pushing back refugee boats. NATO will provide critical intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance information to others to stop the human trafficking and criminal networks in co-operation with national coastguards and the Frontex. The SNMG-2 will be tasked to do monitoring and other support tasks

The seat of purpose for every naval action is on land. The criminal and human trafficking networks are on land. On the sea are just the migrants trying to survive and cross the sea to the other side. Thus it just does not makes sence for NATO to send one oiler and 3 frigates to fish the helpless migrants from the sea and return them back to Turkey. While the ships of SNMG-2 especially the frigates are capable of gathering information about their enemies through their sensors, I have my doubts if these sensors will be adequate to fulfill the given task in this mission. Searching and locating large metal targets on the surface or submerged is one thing locating small dinghies made from plastic is something else.

If NATO nations really wanted to do anything to stop the these criminal networks they should have sent specialised police officers or other law enforcement forces or may be some specialised intelligence gathering ships.

The migrant crisis has a very destabilising effect on the European nations and indirectly threatens the security. But instead of draining the swamp NATO is trying to kill the individual mosquitoes. And what makes this effort worse is that NATO uses a hammer is stead of a fly swatter.

 

UPDATED: Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2015 Started In Italy

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TCG Yıldırım in Çanakkale in March 2015. She is taking part in Dynamic Manta with SNMG-2

The largest anti submarine warfare exercise NATO holds in the Mediterranean has started in Italy.

The exercise Dynamic Manta formerly known as Noble Manta kicked on 12 September 2015 in Sicily. The Augusta Naval Base and the Sigonella Air Base in Catania are full with participating naval and air units.

Submarines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will join 5 surface ships from France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the United States. To support the simulated multi-threat environment, 7 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Helicopters from Canada, France, Italy, Turkey and the United States will operate from Sigonella Air Base

The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, with due regard to safety. During the exercise, an analysis team of ASW experts (In-stride Debrief Team) will be located in Sigonella Air Base. The team will analyse anti-submarine warfare events real time and will provide debriefs to ships, submarines and aircrews. It allows crew to accelerate their process, make adjustments, improve the performance and boost the anti-submarine warfare readiness.

UPDATE: As usual I have tried to find out the participating naval units and I have succeed it with the exception of the US submarine. Thanks to Victor M.S. Barreira and D_Mitch, for detailed info on participating surface units.

Any corrections and additions are welcomed.

Number Name Type Nationality
D-643 FS Jean De Vienne Destroyer France
 S-606  FS Perle Submarine France
F-220 FGS Hamburg Frigate Germany
S-116 HS Posedion Submarine Greece
 F-571  ITS Grecale Frigate Italy
S-522  ITS Salvatore Pelosi Submarine Italy
 S-73  ESPS Mistral Submarine Spain
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
S-353 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey
 S-96  HMS Ambush Submarine UK
75  USS Porter Destroyer USA

Anti Submarine Warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2015 Started In Italy

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TCG Yıldırım in Çanakkale in March 2015. She is taking part in Dynamic Manta with SNMG-2

The largest anti submarine warfare exercise NATO holds in the Mediterranean has started in Italy.

The exercise Dynamic Manta formerly known as Noble Manta kicked on 12 September 2015 in Sicily. The Augusta Naval Base and the Sigonella Air Base in Catania are full with participating naval and air units.

Submarines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will join 5 surface ships from France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and the United States. To support the simulated multi-threat environment, 7 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and Helicopters from Canada, France, Italy, Turkey and the United States will operate from Sigonella Air Base

The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, with due regard to safety. During the exercise, an analysis team of ASW experts (In-stride Debrief Team) will be located in Sigonella Air Base. The team will analyse anti-submarine warfare events real time and will provide debriefs to ships, submarines and aircrews. It allows crew to accelerate their process, make adjustments, improve the performance and boost the anti-submarine warfare readiness.

As usual I have tried to find out the participating naval units. It the next few days with the emerge of more information regarding the exercise I hope to complete the list. Thanks to Victor M.S. Barreira for detailed info on participating surface units.

Any corrections and additions are welcomed.

Number Name Type Nationality
D-643 FS Jean De Vienne Destroyer France
Submarine France
F-220 FGS Hamburg Frigate Germany
S-116 HS Posedion Submarine Greece
 F-571  ITS Grecale Frigate Italy
Submarine Italy
Submarine Spain
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate Turkey
S-353 TCG Preveze Submarine Turkey
Submarine UK
75  USS Porter Destroyer USA
Submarine USA

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 29)

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A newcomer to the Syrian Express Deployments: Korolev. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Novocharkassk making her southbound passage through Istanbul Strait. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Long time no see: Tsezar Kunikov making her debut after a long overhaul. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Today the Russian Ropuchas were active. One of the Baltic Fleet’s ships 130 Konolev made her northbound passage. It’s the first time she was deployed in this region and first time she will take part in cargo hauling to Syria.

Another ship that we have not seen for a long time was the south bound 158 Tsezar Kunikov. This Black Sea Fleet ship was in Bulgaria for an overhaul. Her companion was Novocharkassk.

Number Name Direction Nationality
7.6.2015 158 Tsezar Kunikov Southbound Russia
7.6.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.6.2015 130 Korolev Northbound Russia
3.6.2015 71 USS Ross Southbound USA
2.6.2015 121 Moskva Southbound Russia
2.6.2015 Ivan Bubnov Southbound Russia
1.6.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
1.6.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
30.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
30.5.2015 141 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
26.5.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
25.5.2015 801 Ladny Northbound Russia
24.5.2015 121 Moskva Northbound Russia
23.5.2015 71 USS Ross Northbound USA
23.5.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
23.5.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
20.5.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
20.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
19.5.2015 808 Pytliviy Southbound Russia
15.5.2015 121 Moskva Southbound Russia
14.5.2015 547 Linyi Southbound China
14.5.2015 109 Weifang Southbound China
14.5.2015 616 Samum Southbound Russia
12.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound China
12.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound China
4.5.2015 547 Linyi Northbound China
4.5.2015 550 Weifang Northbound China
28.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
28.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
17.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
14.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Southbound USA
8.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
8.4.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
5.4.2015 MAI 1101 MAI 1101 Northbound Romania
3.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Northbound USA
30.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette  Southbound French
29.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
29.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
28.3.2015 MB-31 Southbound Russia
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

Baltops 2015 Naval Components

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Monsieur Louis, Martin-Vézian from Contemporary Issues & Geography (CIGeography) prepared this wonderful picture where you can visualize easily all nations and all warships taking part in Baltops exercise.

According to media sources there are 49 warships taking part in Baltops 2015. The below list has 49 of them.

Number Name Type Nationality
FF-337 HMCS Frederiction Frigate Canada
A-559 HDMS Sleipner Tender Denmark
F-362 HDMS Peter Willemoes  Frigate Denmark
F-363 HDMS Niels Juel Frigate Denmark
L-16 HDMS Absalon Assault Ship Denmark
MSD-5 HDMS Hirsholm Mine hunter Denmark
MSF-1 HDMS MSF-1 Mine hunter Denmark
MV Blue Capella Tender Denmark
A-432 ENS Tasuja Tender Estonia
M-314 ENS Sakala Mine hunter Estonia
2 FNS Hämeenmaa Mine hunter Finland
A-631 FS Somme Tanker France
M-641 FS Eridan Mine hunter France
A-1458 FGS Fehmarn Tender Germany
A-516 FGS Donau Tanker Germany
F-214 FGS Lübeck Frigate Germany
F-260 FGS Braunschwieg Corvette Germany
M-1093 FGS Auerbach Mine hunter Germany
P-6123 FGS Hermelin Patrol boat Germany
P-6129 FGS Wiesel Patrol boat Germany
P-6130 FGS Hyane Patrol boat Germany
M-53 LNS Skalvis Mine hunter Latvia
M-54 LNS Kursis Mine hunter Latvia
P-11 LNS Zemaitis Patrol boat Latvia
A-53 LVNS Virsaitis Tender Litanua
A-803 HNLMS Luymens Tender Netherlands
M-857 HNLMS Makkum Mine hunter Netherlands
M-861 HNLMS Urk Mine hunter Netherlands
M-862 HNLMS Zierikzee Mine hunter Netherlands
M-864 HNLMS Willemstad Mine hunter Netherlands
M-351 HNOMS Otra Mine hunter Norway
M-352 HNoMS Rauma Mine hunter Norway
297 ORP Kondor Submarine Poland
623 ORP Meva Patrol boat Poland
632 ORP Bukowo Mine hunter Poland
637 ORP Resko Mine hunter Poland
641 ORP Druzno Mine hunter Poland
643 ORP Mamry Mine hunter Poland
644 ORP Wigry Mine hunter Poland
821 ORP Lublin Landing ship Poland
822 ORP Gniezno Landing ship Poland
K-12 HMS Malmö Corvette Sweden
F-497 TCG Göksu Frigate Turkey
F-234 HMS Iron Duke Frigate UK
L-12 HMS Ocean Assault Ship UK
M-41 HMS Quorn Mine hunter UK
LDP-17 USS San Antonio Assault Ship USA
CG-69 USS Vicksburg Cruiser USA
DDG-109 USS Jason Dunham Destroyer USA

 

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 28)

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Replenishment tanker Ivan Bubnov heading to the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Moskva passing through Istanbul in the early morning hours. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Moskva passing through Istanbul in the early morning hours. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Moskva passing through Istanbul in the early morning hours. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Moskva making her southbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Moskva heading to the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Alexander Shabalin making her southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Saadettin Irmakçı. Used with permission.

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Russian Alligator class landing ship Nikolay Filchenkov heading to the Mediterranean. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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Russian landing ship Azov returning from a Syrian Deployment. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

We had witnessed a lot of Russian naval traffic in the last 4 days. First the landing ships Azov and Novocharkassk returned from their Mediterranean deployment on Sunday. Immediately one day later a new couple of landing ships Alexander Shabalin and Alexander Otrakovski  were observed making a southbound passage.

And today the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, cruiser Moskva and the replenishment tanker Ivan Bubnov made their southbound passages through Turkish Straits. Moskva made her first southbound passage through Turkish Straits mid April to participate in the Sino-Russian naval exercise in the Med and returned for a 7 day stop.

Number Name Direction Nationality
2.6.2015 121 Moskva Southbound Russia
2.6.2015 Ivan Bubnov Southbound Russia
1.6.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
1.6.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
30.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
30.5.2015 141 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
26.5.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
25.5.2015 801 Ladny Northbound Russia
24.5.2015 121 Moskva Northbound Russia
23.5.2015 71 USS Ross Northbound USA
23.5.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
23.5.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
20.5.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
20.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
19.5.2015 808 Pytliviy Southbound Russia
15.5.2015 121 Moskva Southbound Russia
14.5.2015 547 Linyi Southbound China
14.5.2015 109 Weifang Southbound China
14.5.2015 616 Samum Southbound Russia
12.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound China
12.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound China
4.5.2015 547 Linyi Northbound China
4.5.2015 550 Weifang Northbound China
28.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
28.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
17.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
14.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Southbound USA
8.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
8.4.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
5.4.2015 MAI 1101 MAI 1101 Northbound Romania
3.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Northbound USA
30.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette  Southbound French
29.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
29.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
28.3.2015 MB-31 Southbound Russia
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 27)

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The flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet cruiser Moskva, returning from the Mediterranean. Photo: Alper Böler. Used with permission.

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The flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet cruiser Moskva, returning from the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Russian landing ship Alexander Shabalin making her northbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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US Navy destroyer USS Ross, following Russian Alexander Shabalin, as they pass through Istanbul. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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US Navy destroyer USS Ross, following Russian Alexander Shabalin, as they pass through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Russian landing ship Alexander Otrakovski, as it sails towards The Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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USS Ross entering the Bosphorus on her way to Black Sea.

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US Navy destroyer, USS Ross, arriving in Istanbul.

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Russian landing ship Alexander Shabalin entering Bosphorus.

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Russian landing ship Alexander Shabalin arriving Istanbul. .

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Russian landing ship Alexander Otrakovski arriving in Istanbul.

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Russian landing ship Alexander Otrakovski entering Bosphorus on her northbound passage.

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We had a lovely weekend for ship spotters in Istanbul. On Saturday, the Russian landing ships Alexander Otrakovski and Alexander Shabalin made their northbound passage. The ships seem to be loaded. That is of course my speculation. But if they were loaded what would they be bringing back on their Syrian Express deployment?

Shortly after the Russian ships started their northbound passage, US Navy destroyer USS Ross has arrived as advertised previously by US Navy. She followed the Russian landing ships as she proceeded to the Black Sea.

At the same time 3 Chinese warships were also in Marmara Sea and they were expected to arrive. But they have arrived early in the next morning. But that is another story.

On Sunday the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Slava class cruiser Moskva returned to the Black Sea. She was deployed 9 days ago to take part in the Sino Russian naval exercise in the Mediterranean.

Date Number Name Direction Nationality
24.5.2015 121 Moskva Northbound Russia
23.5.2015 71 USS Ross Northbound USA
23.5.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
23.5.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
20.5.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
20.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
19.5.2015 808 Pytliviy Southbound Russia
15.5.2015 121 Moskva Southbound Russia
14.5.2015 547 Linyi Southbound China
14.5.2015 109 Weifang Southbound China
14.5.2015 616 Samum Southbound Russia
12.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound China
12.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound China
4.5.2015 547 Linyi Northbound China
4.5.2015 550 Weifang Northbound China
28.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
28.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
17.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
14.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Southbound USA
8.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
8.4.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
5.4.2015 MAI 1101 MAI 1101 Northbound Romania
3.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Northbound USA
30.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette  Southbound French
29.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
29.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
28.3.2015 MB-31 Southbound Russia
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 26)

KB-15-05-20-Istanbul-0015

Russian landing ship Novocharkassk heading to the Mediterranean. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

IMG_5146

Russian landing ship Novocharkassk heading to the Mediterranean. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

IMG_5183

Russian landing ship Azov passing through Istanbul Strait. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

 

Date Number Name Direction Nationality
20.5.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
20.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
19.5.2015 808 Pytliviy Southbound Russia
15.5.2015 121 Moskva Southbound Russia
14.5.2015 547 Linyi Southbound China
14.5.2015 109 Weifang Southbound China
14.5.2015 616 Samum Southbound Russia
12.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound China
12.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound China
4.5.2015 547 Linyi Northbound China
4.5.2015 550 Weifang Northbound China
28.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
28.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
17.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
14.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Southbound USA
8.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
8.4.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
5.4.2015 MAI 1101 MAI 1101 Northbound Romania
3.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Northbound USA
30.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette  Southbound French
29.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
29.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
28.3.2015 MB-31 Southbound Russia
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

Foreign Warship On Bosphorus 2015 (Part 25)

slava

Russian Slava class cruiser Mosvka passing through Bosphorus.

616

Russian Dergach class corvette Samum trailing the two Chinese frigates to the Mediterranean Sea.

550

Chinese frigate 550 Weifang, passing through Istanbul.

550_1

Chinese frigate 550 Weifang making her southbound passage through Bosphorus

IMG_0014

A very nice shot of Weifang passing through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

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Chinese frigate on her way to the joint Russian – Chinese exercise. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

547

Chinese frigate Linyi, returning to the Mediterranean Sea.

IMG_0012

547 Linyi, making her southbound passage through Bosphorus. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

IMG_0616

Ropucha class landing ship Azov making a northbound passage through Istanbul. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

IMG_0615

Russian landing ship Novocharkassk, returning to the Black Sea. Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

Last couple of days we had an increased activity here in Istanbul.

First, on 12 May 2015 the ever-present Russian landing ships Novocharkassk and Azov returned from another Mediterranean trip.

Two days later the much publicized visit of the PLAN ships 550 Weifang and 547 Linyi in the Black Sea has ended.

The Jiangkai II (type 054A) class frigates from PLAN North Sea Fleet made their southbound passage with the Russian Dergach (project 1239;) class corvette Samum.  One day later the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Slava class cruiser Moskva was deployed to the Mediterranean.

Date Number Name Direction Nationality
15.5.2015 121 Moskov Southbound Russia
14.5.2015 547 Linyi Southbound China
14.5.2015 109 Weifang Southbound China
14.5.2015 616 Samum Southbound Russia
12.5.2015 151 Azov Northbound China
12.5.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound China
4.5.2015 547 Linyi Northbound China
4.5.2015 550 Weifang Northbound China
28.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
28.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
17.4.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
14.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Southbound USA
8.4.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
8.4.2015 142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
5.4.2015 MAI 1101 MAI 1101 Northbound Romania
3.4.2015 109 USS Jason Dunham Northbound USA
30.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette  Southbound French
29.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
29.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
28.3.2015 MB-31 Southbound Russia
24.3.2015 F-710 FS La Fayette Northbound France
24.3.2015 152 Nikolay Filchenkov Southbound Russia
21.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Southbound Germany
21.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Southbound Canada
21.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Southbound Italy
21.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Southbound USA
19.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
19.3.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
17.3.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
8.3.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
7.3.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
7.3.2015 151 Azov Northbound Russia
4.3.2015 A-1442 FGS Spessart Northbound Germany
4.3.2015 337 HMCS Fredericton Northbound Canada
4.3.2015 F-547 ITS Aliseo Northbound Italy
3.3.2015 69 USS Vicksburg Northbound USA
25.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
25.2.2015 151 Azov Southbound Russia
25.2.2015  142 Novocharkassk Northbound Russia
22.2.2015 67 USS Cole Southbound USA
21.2.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
17.2.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
15.2.2015 142 Novocharkassk Southbound Russia
8.2.2015 67 USS Cole Northbound USA
7.2.2015 801 Ladny Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
7.2.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Southbound Russia
5.2.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
21.1.2015  156 Yamal Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Northbound Russia
21.1.2015 PM-56 PM-56 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 Shaktar Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 KIL-158 Northbound Russia
19.1.2015 150 Saratov Northbound Russia
17.1.2015 131 Moskva Northbound Russia
14.1.2015 75 USS Donald Cook Southbound USA
13.1.2015 031 Alexander Otrakovski Northbound Russia
11.1.2015 PM-138 PM-138 Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 156 Yamal Southbound Russia
10.1.2015 110 Alexander Shabalin Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 150 Saratov Southbound Russia
5.1.2015 KIL-158 Southbound Russia

I have archived the list of the Russian warship movements in 2013 and the list of foreign warship movements in 2014.

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