The “Missing Turkish Warships” Farce

Turkey is in a very turbulent situation since the failed coup attempt last Saturday.

There is a lot of information, misinformation and disinformation about the things happened during the last weekend. One of the is the story about 14 missing warship of Turkish Navy.

As far as I know the story was originated in British newspapers and spread like a wild-fire.

Several Turkish navy ships are still unaccounted for, their commanders suspected to be among the plotters who sought to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Admiral Veysel Kosele, the commander of the Turkish navy, has not been heard from since the failed coup on Friday, a source told The Times.

It is currently unknown whether he was part of the coup or was tricked on to the boat after coup plotters told him there was a terrorist attack and then taken hostage, local media reports suggested.

The 14 missing ships were reportedly on active duty in either the Aegean or the Black Sea and have not tried to make contact with naval headquarters or report back to the port.

It is suspected they may be heading to Greek ports. On Saturday, eight Turkish military officers took a helicopter to Greece to seek asylum.

Despite several days the sources that originated this story failed to show evidence such as the names of the missing ships or more details about them to further support their story.

There are also some gross factual errors in the story. Admiral Kösele is the Commander of Turkish Fleet. Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu is the Commander of Turkish Naval Forces. And the Command of Turkish Fleet is one of the subcommands of the Naval Forces. And the whereabouts of Admiral Kösele is well know. He was interned on board of TCG Yavuz for a couple of hours and he was released later.

The Black Sea and the Aegean are too small for 14 ships to hide. Furthermore there Greek and Russian Armed Forces are tracking the movement of Turkish warships. They would announce to the world, with a lot of Schadenfreude, if there where any Turkish ships in their ports.

I know that there are at least 4 ships (one mine hunter, one command ship, one frigate and one submarine) in Black Sea taking part in Romanian naval exercise. They have not returned yet. Thus an uniformed land based source may think that they are still unaccounted for.
I sincerely hope that this 14 missing Turkish Warships farce will end very soon and we can focus on things that are real and matter.

Meltem 3 Project Reaches A Milestone

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The saga of the procurement of these planes is longer than the range of the real plane.

The aviation journalist, Mr. Tony Osborne of Aviation Week & Space Technology reported from Farnborough Airshow Turkish ATR-72 maritime patrol program reached a milestone:


At the IDEF defense show in Istanbul in 2013, Alenia Aermacchi and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a memorandum of understanding to offer the ATR-72 as a maritime patrol aircraft, with the Italian company supplying the basic airframe and carrying out the final integration and test work, while TAI made modifications to the aircraft and installed mission equipment. To be known as Meltam-IIIs, they will be operated by the Turkish Navy and the first of six ordered will shortly be transferred to Turin, Italy, after fitting out by TAI in Turkey. The aircraft are fitted with the ThalesAirborne Maritime Situation & Control System (AMASCOS) mission system and should be delivered back to Turkey in 2017. Two more ATR-72s have already been supplied to Turkey for utility missions.

IF (yes that is a big if) the planes are delivered as scheduled in 2017 that will make 12 years from the signing of the original contact to the delivery.

In July 2005 Italian Prime Minister Mr. Belosconi and his Turkish counterpart Mr. Erdoğan signed a deal on acquisition of 10 maritime patrol planes based on Alenia’s ATR-72 500 turboprop aircraft. According to the $219-million contract the initial deliveries were supposed to be in 2010.

The first ATR-72 500 arrived in Turkish Aerospace Industries in February 2008. TAI worked as Alenia’s local sub-contractor, carrying out all modifications from the base airframe to the ATR-72 MPA configuration.

In May 2013 suddenly there was a big change in the project. The project was downsized from 10 planes to 8: 2 utility models for personnel and cargo, and 6 armed maritime patrol models. The good part of this rearrangement was the model of the planes were upgraded, from ATR-72 500 which, was no longer in production, to ATR-72 600.

In July 2013 the first utility model was delivered to Turkish Navy. My understanding is, this plane was the original ATR-72 500
delivered to TAI in 2008, and was remodeled to ATR-72 600 in due time.

In August 2013 the first base ATR-72 600 was delivered to TAI for the changes to MPA configuration. According to the above quoted article this plane will shortly be transferred back to Alenia for final modification.

These planes will be armed with Mk-46 and Mk-54 lightweight torpedoes and will carry Thales AMASCOS maritime patrol mission system.  AMASCOS integrates an array of sensors that include a surveillance turret, Thales’ Ocean Master search radar, an ESM radar/transmitter locator, a Magnetic Anomaly Detector to find submarines, and transmissions from launched sonobuoys.

Hopefully the plane will be in Turkish Navy service by 2017. In the mean time Turkish Navy is considering procurement of new maritime patrol planes with even longer ranges.

 

For further reading:

12 Years After The Contract Thales Finally Delivers Maritime Patrol Aircraft To Turkish Navy

Finaly: The First ATR-72 Maritime Utility Plane Is Delivered

Turkish Navy To Get 8 ATR-72-600 Planes Instead Of 10 As Originaly Agreed

Finally: The First Maritime Surveillance Plane Officially Inaugurated

First flight of CN235 ASW for Meltem programme

New Maritime Patrol Planes For Turkish Navy?

Breeze 2016 Naval Exercise

Bulgaria is hosting the Breeze 2016 naval exercise from 8. July till 17. July 2016.

As many as 25 naval vessels from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Spain and Turkey, two aircraft and two helicopters, and 1700 troops will take part in the exercise.

Turkish led NATO mine task force SNMCMG-2 is also in Bulgaria for this occasion.

This is the list of the participating warship That I could find:

Number Name Nation Type
A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasanpaşa Turkey Tender
M-260 TCG Edincik Turkey Mine hunter
M-34 SPS Turia Spain Mine hunter
62 ROM Sub Lieutenant Alexandru Axente Romania Mine sweeper
 S-356 TCG Anafartalar Turkey Submarine
P-1207 TCG Tekirdağ Turkey Patrol boat
P-337 TCG Atak Turkey Fast attack craft
F-222 ROM  Regina Maria Romania Frigate
190 ROM Lastunul Romania Corvette
P-70 HS Y. Grigorpoulos Greece Fast attack craft

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 (UDT) has issued a request for proposal for the mid-life modernisation work on Preveze class submarines.

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

UDT 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.

TCG Burgazada Launched

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TCG Burgazada on the slipway ready to be launched. The first section of TCG Kınalıada is already assembled and is ready to be put on the slipway. This photo was taken earlier this week.

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Same scene from a slightly different angle.

Today the third ship of Ada class, TCG Burgazada was launched in Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the keel laying ceremony for the fourth ship TCG Kınalıada was conducted.

The construction of TCG Burgazada started on 27 September 2013. For the previous two ships, Istanbul Naval Shipyard needed 3 years from the start of the construction till launching. However the shipyard was able to shorten the construction time of TCG Burgazada by 100 days.

These two ships, together with the previous pair will constitute Ada class.

During the launching ceremony the Commander of Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu said that the planned construction time for TCG Kınalıada will be 8 months shorter.  He also noted that the second batch of four ships will be constructed in İ class configuration. The construction of the fifth ship, named  TCG İstanbul, will start in Januray 2017. These ships are scheduled to be commissioned between 2021 and 2024.

 

Here is a short video of the launch:

From the Archive (18)

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F-253 TCG Zafer in Istanbul on 29 October 1995. She was commissioned in US Navy as USS Thomas C. Hart in 1973 and served untill 1993. She was transferred to Turkey in 1993, through the Security Assistance Program and renamed as TCG Zafer. She was decommssioned from Turkish Navy in 2012 and in June 2016 she was sunk as target.

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.

TCG Burgazada Is Ready For Launch

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The third ship of the Milgem class corvettes, F-513 TCG Burgazada is ready for her scheduled launching ceremony on 17 June 2016.

Her keel was laid on 27 September 2013. Here are a couple photos which show the progress of her construction well.

Beyaz Fırtına Naval Exercise

Turkish Navy concluded Beyaz Fırtına (White Storm) 2016 naval exercise on 28 May 2016.

Interestingly members of media were not invited to watch the exercise. Thus all photos available are made by Turkish Naval Forces.

12 frigates, 7 corvettes, 13 fast attack craft, 7 submarines, 1 amphibious ship, 12 auxiliaries, 1 inteligence gathering ship and 2 mine  warfare ships plus 5 aircraft and 15 helicopters took part in the exercise. 6 guided missiles, one torpedo and more than 4000 rounds from different guns  were fired against a number of targets. The ex frigate TCG Zafer and the ex patrol boat TCG AB-24 were sunk. You can read the analysis of TCG Zafer’s sinking here. There are no photos from the sinking of TCG AB-24. Thus it is not possible to identify the type of the ammunition used against her.

2

F-497 TCG Göksu fires a RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM)

3

F-491 TCG Giresun fires a RIM-66 Standart Missile 1. (SM-1)

4

A S-70B Seahawk helicopter fires an AGM-114K Hellfire II missile.

Below is the list some of the ships took part in the exercise:

Number Name Type
A-573 Binbaşı Saadettin Gürcan Tanker
A-580 Akar Tanker
F-243 Yıldırım Frigate
F-246 Salihreis Frigate
F-247 Kemalreis Frigate
F-491 Giresun Frigate
F-492 Göksu Frigate
F-500 Bozcada Corvette
F-511 Heybeliada Corvette
F-512 Büyükada Corvette
M-270 Akçay Mine hunter
P-330 Kılıç Fast attack craft
P-332 Mızrak Fast attack craft
P-340 Doğan Fast attack craft
P-344 Rüzgar Fast attack craft
P-345 Poyraz Fast attack craft
P-346 Gurbet Fast attack craft
P-347 Fırtına Fast attack craft
P-349 Karayel Fast attack craft
S-356 Anafartalar Submarine

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.

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