Mavi Balina 2016 Naval Exercise

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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

Aselsan Will Supply Electronic Support Measures For Pakistani Submarines

SMART-S Mk2 3D radar and ARES-2N EW antennas

5 ARES-2N EW antennas can be seen below the SMART-S Mk2 3D radar on the mast of TCG Heybeliada.

Turkish military electronic company Aselsan was chosen to supply ARES-2SC  electronic support measures system for the Agosto 90B submarines in Pakistan Navy, according to IHS Jane’s.

ARES family of ESM systems are developed by Aselsan to be used both on surface ships and on submarines. The ARES ESM system detects, intercepts, identifies, classifies, tracks, direction-finds (DF), localizes, platform correlates, records and provides audio warnings of threat signals within the 2 to 18 GHz frequency band.

ARES-2N is integrated into Turkish Ada class corvettes and the ARES-2NS, especially for submarines, is fitted to the 2 modernized Ay class submarines. This system is also selected for the Reis (Type 214) class submarines.

The main difference between ARES-2N and ARES-2NS is, that the latter has smaller antennas and a single operator console due to the limited space available on submarines.

The system on Pakistan submarines will be the second generation ARES-2SC that has a dedicated ESM mast antenna, as well as a separate omnidirectional radar warning receiver (RWR) antenna designed for installation on periscopes.

Aselsan officials Told Jane’s during Indodefence 2016, that the company has recently been selected to provide the ARES-2SC system as part of the upgrade of the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B submarines. In this case, it will give the main ESM to STM (as prime contractor), while it will separately supply the periscope-mounted RWR antenna to Airbus DS Optronics for mounting on a new search periscope.

 

Russian Submarine Stary Oskol Passed Through Bosphorus

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Russian submarine Stary Oskol passing through Istanbul.

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Russian submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by Turkish ASW boat P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ during the submarines passage through Istanbul. Frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for the submarine at the northern entrance of the Strait.

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Stary Oskol is the third improved Kilo class submarine assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.

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On 29 June 2016, the improved Kilo submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, Stary Oskol made her inaugural passage through Istanbul Strait.
She is the third of a four Varshavyanka submarines being build for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The first pair of these submarines, Novorossiysk and Rostov-na-Donu are already been commissioned.

With the arrival of this boat, the number of submarines in Russian Black Sea Fleet has increased to four: the Kilo class Alrosa and the impreoved Kilo (Varshavyanka) class Novorossiysk, Rostav-na-Donu and Stary Oskol.

During her passage through Istanbul Strait, the submarine was escorted by Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-88 and trailed by anti submarine warfare patrol boat TCG Tekirdağ. Turkish frigate TCG Yıldırım was waiting for her at the northern enterance of the Istanbul Strait.

Mid-Life Modernisation For Preveze Class Submarines

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One of the four Preveze class submarines which will receive a mid-life-modernisation.

The Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (UDI) has issued a request for proposal for the mid-life modernisation work on Preveze class submarines.

UDI has issued the RfP in Turkish as it is local development project.

UDI previously managed the upgrade of two Type 209/1200 class submarines TCG Doğanay and TCG Dolunay. The contract was awarded to STM and the project included renewal of electronic support, attack and search periscopes and inertial navigation systems.

although the scope of mid-life modernisation work on Preveze class submarines has not been published yet, it is safe to assume it will involve the upgrade of the electronic systems maybe even the combat management system. If so then the CMS developed for Preveze class submarines may work as a prototype for the future CMS of the Reis (Type 212) class submarines.

Turkish Navy operates 12 Type 209 submarines. The oldest 5 of them are Ay class submarines. The reminder are Type 209/1400 class submarines. The first batch of four is known as Preveze class and the last four as Gür class. The main difference between these are the later have a new fire control system integrated with the sonar, new data links and improved target acquisition and tracking capabilities.

Turkish Company Will Upgrade Pakistan’s Submarines

Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production selected Turkish company Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik (STM) to upgrade Pakistani Khalid class submarines.

The contract was signed on 22 June and is about the upgrade of one submarine with an option for two. Pakistan operates 3 Khalid submarines.

The work on the first submarine will be finished in 45 months. Pakistani media said the modernisation programme would focus on mission systems and sensors within the submarine, including a new combat management system. According to media reports STM has beaten the French company DCNS that designed and constructed the Khalid class submarines.

This contract is a major milestone for STM. STM was established in 1991 to provide system engineering, technical support, project management, technology transfer and logistics support services for Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM). The contract is important since Turkish does not operate any French designed submarines. All Turkish Navy submarines are Type 209 variants. Thus STM will have to develop its solution on a new and previously unknown platform. This might be a challenge.

STM is also the main contractor of the logistic support ship currently being constructed in Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Ltd in Pakistan.

This is however is not the first time Turkey is helping Pakistan Navy to maintain its submarines. Tench class submarine PNS Ghazi was sent to Turkey for a $1.5 million refit in 1967-68.

 

Turkish Navy Released A Video About Beyaz Fırtına Naval Exercise

Turkish Navy released a official video from the live firings conducted during the Beyaz Fırtına 2016 (White Storm) Naval Exercise.

I must admit that, I have found the scene showing, the torpedo leaving the submarine, very impressive.

The Sinking Of Ex TCG Zafer

Turkish Navy concluded Beyaz Fırtına (White Storm) 2016 Naval exercise on 28 May 2016. During this exercise the hull of the decommissioned Knox class frigate ex USS Thomas C. Hart and ex TCG Zafer was used as a target. The torpedo is believed to be DM2A4

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Ex TCG Zafer being towed in Çanakkale Strait on 30 April 2016. Photo: Murad Sezer. I thought that the she was being towed to the ship breakers in Aliağa. But her fate was different.

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These are official Turkish Navy photos taken from a helicopter during the sinking of ex- TCG Zafer. The shape of the hull is not much different compared to the photo taken in Çanakkale. This indicates that she was not hit by any other weapons or missiles. This photo shows the initial explosion of a torpedo warhead under the keel of the ship. The force of the explosion lifts the ship up.

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The shock wave of the detonation travels through the hull of the ship creating further damage. The ship is broken in two and is lost.

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The fracture line going from port to the starboard side of the ship can be seen just below the funnel.

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Water ingress through the fracture, separates the two halves and they begin to sink.

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It’s time to say goodby to a ship that faithfully served both U.S and Turkish Navies.

Lest We Forget: TCG Dumlupınar

On 4 April 1953, in the wee hours of the morning two Turkish submarines  TCG Dumlupınar and her sister boat TCG 1. İnönü,entered from the Aegean into the Dardanelles Strait, as the returning from the NATO naval exercise Blue Sea.

The Commodore of First Submarine Squadron was in command of the two submarines and he was on board of TCG Dumlupınar. When the submarine reached the Cape Nara, the narrowest point of the Strait the Swedish flagged cargo ship M/V Naboland collided with the submarine. The accident happened at 02:15 in the morning.

M/V Naboland rammed TCG Dumlupınar from starboard forecastle just aft of the forward diving planes. The submarine rolled to port with force of the impact and sunk immediately. 5 submariners who were in the sail at the time of the collision survived. Rest of the crew, 81 men, were trapped inside her hull. She sunk at the narrowest point of Dardanelles at 85 meters.

22 sailors trapped in the aft torpedo compartment were able to release the submarine’s sunk buoy. The rescuers above the water tried to give hope and moral but time was an enemy. Submarine rescue and salvage ships were rushed from the main naval base in Gölcük after the incident. But all efforts to reach the submarine and rescue the survivors failed cause of very strong water currents and insufficient equipment.

The last words from the submarine, before the currents tore the cable of buoy were: For our country.

Since that fateful day, on every 4th of April we remember those that have a watery grave were no rose will grow.

A Submarine Sighted

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On 10th March 2016, a Turkish Navy, Ay class submarine was sighted passing through Bosphorus.
Since Turkish Navy stopped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult.

Turkish Navy Held Exercise For Aviation Units

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A S-70B Seahawk helicopter conducts vertical replenishment to a Ay class submarine. Photo: Turkish Navy

Turkish Navy conducted a small scale naval exercise between 15th and 19th February 2016. The Exercise “Şehit Rad.Asb.Kd.Çvş. Aydın CANBOLAT Tatcial Training” was named after the radar operator Petty Officer 2nd Class Aydın Canpolat who died when his Coast Guard AB-412 helicopter crashed to the sea in 2005.

As the name of the exercise suggests the aim of it was to train Turkish naval aviation units.  9 S-70B Seahawk ASW helicopters, 3 CN-235-100M ASW planes, 2 frigates, 2 fast attack craft and one submarine  took part in the training.

Landing and taking of from a frigate sized flight deck, vertical replenishment, search and rescue operations, anti submarine warfare, coordinated action with surface and submarine units, torpedo firings were some of the actions performed during the exercise.

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