Nusret 2019 Mine Warfare Exercise

From left to right: TCG Akçakoca, TCG Akçay, TCG Ayvalık participated in Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise.

Nusret 2019 mine countermeasures exercise will end tomorrow.

Nusret is an annual invitation exercise focusing mine warfare. The exercise is named after the famous minelayer Nusret. In even years the exercise is held in İzmir Bay and in odd years it is held in Çanakkale and Saros Bay.

The aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and interoperability between Turkey and allied and friendly nations navies.

This year 64 Observers and 5 staff officers from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Malesia, Pakistan Qatar; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Romania attended the event. The presence of an officer from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a first. It is a counter jest to the invitation of the Greek Cypriot Administration to a NATO Event, even though the Greek Cypriot Administration is not a member of the organization

NATO Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2), Romanian hydrographic research vessel Cătuneanu, 3 EOD teams from Belgium, Romania and USA took part in the exercise along with one command and control ship, one corvette, one patrol boat, 6 mine hunters, one helicopter, one EOD team, one UAV team and one photography team from Turkish Navy, two boats from Turkish Coast Guard, two sorties of F-16 fighter jets, one C-130 airplane from Turkish Air Forces.

The exercise was divided into four phases. The first phase included force integration and harbor training. During the second phase, a command post-exercise was held and mine-laying operations from airborne and seaborne platforms were conducted. In the third phase, the laid training mines were detected by the participating units. Later the mines were identified and neutralized by mine clearance divers or remotely operated vehicles. Autonomous underwater vehicles were deployed for detection and identification. While conducting mine countermeasures operations the minehunters had to defend themselves against the threat of the asymmetrical surface vessels and air attacks. The last phase was a port visit in Çanakkale with some social and cultural activities

The below is the list of the participating warships:

Number Name Type Nationality Fleet
A-5329 ITS Vesuvio Tanker Italy SNMCMG-2
M-266 TCG Amasra Minehunter Turkey SNMCMG-2
5557 ITS Numana Minehunter Italy SNMCMG-2
M-32 ESPS Sella Minehunter Spain SNMCMG-2
M-62 HS Kallisto Minehunter Greece SNMCMG-2
ROS Cătuneanu Hydrographic Research Romania
M-260 TCG Edincik Minehunter Turkey
M-262 TCG Enez Minehunter Turkey
M-264 TCG Erdemli Minehunter Turkey
M-267 TCG Ayvalık Minehunter Turkey
M-268 TCG Akçakoca Minehunter Turkey
M-270 TCG Akçay Minehunter Turkey
L-402 TCG Bayraktar Landing ship Turkey
F-513 TCG Burgazada Corvette Turkey
P-1210 TCG Türkeli Patrol boat Turkey

For Further Reading:
Nusret 2018
Nusret 2017
Nusret 2016
Nusret 2015
Nusret 2014
Nusret 2013
Nusret 2012
Nusret 2011
Nusret 2010
Nusret 2009

Lest We Forget: DM-357 TCG Muavenet

DM-357 TCG Muavenet in her better days. This photo from 1989 is special to me. This was my very first photo to be published in Jane’s Fighting Ships, in its 1991 edition.

27 years ago, during the NATO Display Determination ’92 naval exercise, two Sea Sparrow surface to air missiles fired accidentally from the aircraft carrier CV-60 USS Saratoga, hit the bridge of the Turkish destroyer DM-357 TCG Muavenet. 5 sailors including the commander of the ship were killed instantly and 15 badly hurt. A fire broke out on board. At the time of the incident, two ships were 3 miles apart and were streaming north in the Aegean.

Ships radar antenna, forward gun turrets, hedgehog launcher suffered from the shrapnel damage. The pieces of the second missile penetrated the forward gun turret, cabins of the supply officer and XO.

A fire started at the ammunition chamber of the Hedgehog system. The explosion of the Hedgehog rounds would have caused the loss of the ships.


These two photos -new scans- show the extensive damage caused by the missiles. Though the missiles were designed for shooting down enemy airplanes, they also succeeded in crippling an allied warship.

It was quite a skill to bring the fire under control before reached to the gun turret in the B position. If the fire has spread further to the turrets and ammunition chambers of the guns, she would not have survived.

All the fire fighting and damage control efforts were done in the absence of the commander of the ship. This fact speaks for the professionalism of the officers and the bravery of the whole crew. They simply did not give up the ship.

Commander Kudret Güngör
Ensign Alertunga Akan
Petty Officer 3th Class Serkan Aktepe
Sergant Mustafa Kılınç
Private Recep Akan,

Replenishment tanker TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör passing through Istanbul after sunset on a December day back in 2017. His name and legacy lives.

paid the ultimate price for the defense of their country.

For further reading:
US Navy Court of Inquiry

Turkish Navy Court of Inquiry

Wikipedia

An interesting but technical legal article about why the USA did not pay indemnities to the Turkish sailors

My previous wrtings about the incident.

And one video documentary about the incident:

http://vimeo.com/58526103

TCG Kınalıada Joins Turkish Navy

TCG Kınalıada in Istanbul Naval Shipyard. This photo was taken on May 2019 by Gökhan Karakaş.

The fourth and the final Ada class Corvette TCG Kınalıada was commissioned to the Turkish Navy on 29th September 2019.

TCG Kınalıada has entered into service 8 years after the first ship of the class was commissioned. Her entry also means the completion of Milgem class corvette production for the Turkish Navy.

On the outside, TCG Kınalıada may very much look like the first ship TCG Heybeliada, but she incorporates significant improvements reflecting the advance of the Turkish defense industry during the last decade:

  1. TCG Kınalıada is the first ship ever to be fitted with the indigenous Atmaca anti-ship missile. The corvette is expected to conduct a live firing of the missile in November. When officially commissioned Atmaca will be fitted back to the existing warships in the inventory.
  2. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada are fitted with Aselsan Seaeye-Ahtapot electro-optic sensor on the aft mast while the previous ships use Aselflir 300. Aselflir 300 was originally designed for airborne platforms and was installed without much modification for a service on a warship. Thus the meantime between regular maintenance is quite short for a maritime system and the whole sensor must be taken down for the maintenance. These shortcomings are rectified in Seaeye-Ahtapot. It has a better tracking range and resolution.
  3. TCG Kınalıada and TCG Burgazada have Aselsan made Hızır countermeasure system for torpedo attacks.  The system consists of two decoy launchers on both sides of the funnel and one towed array and decoy. Though the system is very similar to a torpedo countermeasure system SeaSentor manufactured by Ultra, used the other ships. The logistics of a locally constructed system is preferred by the end-user.
  4. Another important change inside TCG Kınalıada is the new Genesis Advent combat management system with network-enabled capability. This new CMS has native data link capability and can manage Link 11,16 and 22 at the same time. It increases situational awareness. When ships are installed with Genesis Advent they will be able not only to see and share the same tactical picture but also to control and train each other’s sensors and weapon systems.

When I was watching the commissioning ceremony, I couldn’t stop thinking about, what would have happened, if the tender for the construction of 6 Milgem class, won by RMK Marine Shipyard had not been canceled back in 2013. Since the cancelation of the project happened before the completion of the contract negotiation thus we will never know the planned delivery dates. But surely we would have 2 to 3 more Milgem type corvettes in inventory as we do have now.

Even the best ship cannot be in two places at the same time.  And we need more warships now both to rejuvenate our aging fleet and to protect our interest in the blue homeland.

Turkish Naval Forces Day Commemorated With A Sail Parade

The 27th September, the anniversary of the Battle of Preveza, is celebrated as the Turkish Naval Forces Day.

On 27th September 1538, a naval battle for the supremacy in the Mediterranean was fought between the Ottoman Navy commandeered by Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and the fleet of a Christian alliance assembled by Pope Paul III and commandeered by Andrea Doria. With the victory at Preveza and the subsequent victory in the Battle of Djerba in 1560, the Ottoman Empire successfully repulsed the efforts of Venice and Spain, the two principal Mediterranean powers, to stop the Turkish drive to control the Mediterranean.

To commemorate the day Turkish Naval Forces organized a sail parade through Istanbul. 8 warships and two special forces RHIB’s took part in the ceremony. All these ships minus TYCG Sancaktar are open for public on Friday afternoon and on Saturday in Istanbul. In all Turkey, 45 ships will be open for public to visit.

F-247 TCG Kemalreis the flagship of the Turkish Navy.

F-246 TCG Salihreis. She too has extra space and equipment to act as a flagship.

F-241 TCG Turgutreis. First-generation of MEKO 200 type frigates in service.

F-512 TCG Büyükada. The second Ada (Milgem) class corvette. She was launched 8 years ago on this day and commissioned 6 years ago again on this day.

F-511 TCG Heybeliada. The first indigenous warship constructed in Turkey. She was commissioned 8 years ago on this day.

L-403 TCG Sancaktar. The newest landing ship in inventory. She has extensive command and control facilities for land operations. 

P-335 TCG Atak. 

P-337 TCG İmbat. Both TCG Atak and TCG İmbat are the last generation of fast attack craft in the Turkish Naval Forces.

Kurtaran 2019 Submarine Rescue Exercise

TCG Alemdar. The main submarine rescue ship of the Turkish Navy.

Turkish Navy organized the third initiation of Kurtaran series submarine rescue exercises between 27 and 31 May 2019.

This year the submarines TCG Gür, TCG 1. İnönü and TCG Dolunay, submarine rescue ship TCG Alemdar, rescue and salvage ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın, frigate TCG Gelibolu, minehunter TCG Akçay, patrol boat TCG Köyceğiz, one P-235 maritime patrol aircraft, one SH-70 ASW helicopter from Turkish Navy took part in the exercise as well as one AS-535 Cougar helicopter from Turkish Army, one C-130 Hercules cargo plane from the Turkish Air Force. One P-8 Poseidon ASW plane from US Navy also participated in the exercise.

Turkish Navy operates one dedicated submarine rescue mother ship TCG Alemdar and two rescue and salvage ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın. All of them have taken part in the exercise. TCG Alemdar can act as mother ship both for NATO Submarine Rescue System and US Navy Submarine Rescue System if needed.

Kurtaran 2019 started on 27th May with the pre-deployment briefing. On 28th May the surface units and aircraft honed their skill in finding the 3 submerged disabled submarines (DISSUB) sitting at the bottom of the sea.

On 29th May, the first training was to render assistance to submariners who were forced to leave the DISSUB by rush escape. Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team similar in function to the Royal Navy’s Submarine Parachute Assistance Group made jumps from a C-130 cargo plane to help these submariners. The team of 12 jumped in 3 parts as the plane made 3 passes over the submariners waiting to be rescued. The Parachute Search and Rescue Team quickly inflated several life rafts and biding them creating a support base. They have used the RHIBs to collect the submariners from the water and rendering the first aid at the support base. Later they were brought to TCG Alemdar.

There is a wide range of medical facilities on board of TCG Alemdar including one full functional operation room, one x-ray room, a five-bed medical ward, and two hyperbaric chambers. Each chamber can hold 22 persons. The SMERAT team performed a quick triage and treated the patients according to their injuries and sufferings. Those who needed to be transferred to a more advanced medical facility were evacuated by the Land Forces’ Cougar helicopter.

TCG Alemdar search with her onboard sensors for the DISSUB played by TCG 1. İnönü. After locating the submarine TCG Alemdar positioned herself over the submerged disabled submarine. Using her active position controlling systems the rescue ship was able to stay on the exact spot for the remainder of the exercise.

First, the remotely operated underwater vehicle TCB Istakoz 1 was lowered to the submarine. The ROV was constructed by a Turkish company and can operate up to 1000 meters depth. Following the contact with the DISSUB, a diver immersed to the submarine inside the atmospheric diving system. The diver in ADS brought an emergency life support store containing urgently needed supplies by the submarine. The diver placed the emergency life support store inside the submarines escape trunk located inside the sail. The diver in ADS also connected the down-haul cable to a special pad-eye on the submarine hatch. The cable was later used by the submarine escape chamber to align itself with the submarine and mate.

The McCann bell type submarine escape chamber was lowered to the submarine. This type of submarine escape chamber is old but proven technology and can be used for evacuating personnel from the submarine if the pressure inside the submarine is not above one atmosphere and the submarine is not deeper than 207 meters. The chamber descended to the submarine and mated successfully. Two submariners entered the chamber and it resurfaced.

This was the final training for the day. TCG 1. İnönü reemerged from the depths and both vessels returned to the base. While TCG Alemdar was training with TCG 1.İnönü, the other two ships TCG Işın and TCG Akın were also conducting similar activates with the other submarines.

On 30th May, the submarine TCG 1. İnönü bottomed at 30 meters depth. During this exercise, sailors left the submarine via the escape trunk, donned Mk 10 Submarine Escape Immersion Ensemble and surfaced freely. The units waiting on the surface rescued them.

The exercise ended on 31st May with the post-exercise briefing.

TCG 1. İnönü. She dived to 75 meters and waited at the bottom of the sea.

Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team jumped from a C-130 Hercules cargo plane of Turkish Air Force

The injured submarines rescued by the Turkish Navy Parachute Search and Rescue Team rushed to the medical area on board TCG Alemdar.

The command consoles of the two hyperbaric chambers on board of TCG Alemdar.

An AS-532 Cougar helicopter of the Turkish Land Forces is waiting to pick up the evacuee to bring him to the land.

TCB Istakoz 1 is the name of this ROV. Istakoz means lobster in Turkish. I can only admire the humor of the godfather of this device. It has two arms with 7 functions. Two pilots are required to use this ROV. One operates the ROV, the other arms.

An image from an ROV as it is attaching ventilation cables to the submarine TCG Doğanay.

the pilot inside the atmospheric diving suits concentrates on his tasks before starting his long and lonely dive into the dark sea.

This is an emergency life support store. It can fit inside the escape trunk of NATO submarines and used to deliver urgently needed supplies to the DISSUB

The crew enters the submarine rescue chamber.

Turkish Coast Guard boat TCSG-27 intercepts a sailing boat that mistakenly entered the training area.

TCG 1. İnönü resurfaces after playing DISSUB for 10 long hours.

An Afternoon On TCG Burgazada

TCG Burgazada. The third Milgem class corvette.

TCG Burgazada. The third Milgem class corvette.

During the IDEF 2019 defense exhibition last week I had the privilege to visit TCG Burgazada.

TCG Burgazada is the third of the four Ada class corvettes. She was commissioned on 4th November 2018 and is the newest warship of the Turkish Navy.

Turkish Navy always considered the first two ships as prototypes. The lessons learned in constructing and using these ships were to be incorporated in the subsequent ships as there were under construction. Thus TCG Burgazada is slightly updated compared to TCG Heybeliada and TCG Büyükada, though these changes are subtle and mostly not visible from the outside at all.

One exception is the new Aselsan Seaeye-Ahtapot electro-optic sensor on the aft mast while the previous ships use Aselflir 300. Aselflir 300 was originally designed for airborne platforms and was installed without much modification. Thus the mean time between regular maintenance is quite short for a maritime system and the whole sensor must be taken down for the maintenance. These shortcomings are rectified in Seaeye-Ahtapot and the operators are quite happy with its performance. But Aselsan needs to come up with a better and catchier name.

The other changes are under the skin. The main machinery has 10.000 more horsepower making TCG Burgazada faster than the other Ada class ships.

TCG Burgazada has Aselsan made Hızır countermeasure system for torpedo attacks. She is the first ship to be fitted with this system. The system consists of two decoy launchers on both sides of the funnel and one towed array and decoy. Though the system is very similar to Ultra built torpedo countermeasure system used on the other ships I believe the logistics of a locally built system is preferred by the end user.

One could still get “the new ship smell” when walking through the passageways.

I wish fair winds and following seas to TCG Burgazada and her crew.

TCG Anadolu Has Been Floated

TCG Anadolu, temporarily in her element. Photo: Ali Özkök

TCG Anadolu has been floated on 4th May 2019. It is important to note that it is a technical procedure and not the official launching of the ship.

TCG Anadolu is being constructed on a floating dock and the keel blocks under her hull need to be relocated. She will be taken back to the dock after the keel blogs have been relocated and the construction will continue.

The ship was floated 4 days after she suffered a fire. The fire broke out as some isolation material caught fire when welding was done nearby. Although there is no visible damage from the outside, the fire must have damaged the parts of the ship. Since the construction of the ship continues the repair of the damaged parts won’t be much difficult.

First Logistic Support Ship On Builders Trials

First, of the two logistic support ships, A-574 TCG Yüzbaşı Güngör Durmuş has started her shipyard trials. These two ships will be a welcomed addition to the existing fleet of tankers and replenishment ships of the Turkish Navy.

These ships do not have a rig for underway replenishment alongside but will be able to stream a fuel hose astern for a more old fashioned way.

TCG Yüzbaşı Güngör Durmuş is constructed by Selah Shipyard and should have been handed over to the Navy 18 months ago.

The Participants In Mavi Vatan Exercise (Part 2)

An update to the major units taking part in the exercise Mavi Vatan:

Legend: Green means confirmed participant. Red means confirmed nonparticipant.

Small landing craft and auxiliaries taking part in the exercise are not included in the list. For further information regarding the exercise click here.

Additional information:

Frigates: TCG Gökçeada is deployed with the SNMG-2 and TCG Geliblou is in Gulf Of Aden with CTF-151. One frigate is escorting the Barbaros Hayrettin seismic ship in the Mediterranean. This means all frigates of the Turkish Navy are deployed.

Corvettes: Two corvettes are also escorting the Barbaros Hayrettin seismic ship in the Mediterranean.  This leaves 8 corvettes available for this exercise. Only one will miss it out.

Minehunters: TCG Akçakoca is deployed with SNMCMG-2. From the available ten strong force, 7 will take part.

Submarines: As their nature, they are the most difficult units to identify. TCG Gür is in Italy to join the NATO exercise Dynamic Manta. Two more are deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean according to Turkish General Staff. 7 out of 9 available submarines are taking part.

Amphibious ships: According to pre-exercise briefing 22 amphibious ships are participating in this exercise. Most of them are smaller LCT and LCM sized landing craft.

Fast attack craft: Turkish Navy has 19 missile-armed fast attack craft. 16 of them are taking part in this exercise.

The Participants In Mavi Vatan Exercise

Regular readers of this blog will know, that I like to name the units that are taking part in an exercise. It is not easy to identify the participating units to the Mavi Vatan naval exercise. First, there are 103 units taking part in this drill. I would be able to get to name them all. Second, most of the attention of the media is focused on larger units like frigates and corvettes. The smaller landing craft and the auxiliaries taking part will not be covered.

Never the less I am trying to find the larger units participating in this exercise. Here is the list:

Legend: Green means confirmed participant. Red means confirmed nonparticipant.

Frigates: TCG Gökçeada is deployed with the SNMG-2 and TCG Geliblou is in Gulf Of Aden with CTF-151. One frigate is escorting the Barbaros Hayrettin seismic ship in the Mediterranean. This means all frigates of the Turkish Navy are deployed.

Corvettes: Two corvettes are also escorting the Barbaros Hayrettin seismic ship in the Mediterranean.  This leaves 8 corvettes available for this exercise. Only one will miss it out.

Minehunters: TCG Akçakoca is deployed with SNMCMG-2. From the available ten strong force, 7 will take part.

Submarines: As their nature, they are the most difficult units to identify. TCG Gür is in Italy to join the NATO exercise Dynamic Manta. Two more are deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean according to Turkish General Staff. 7 out of 9 available submarines are taking part.

Amphibious ships: According to pre-exercise briefing 22 amphibious ships are participating in this exercise. Most of them are smaller LCT and LCM sized landing craft.

Fast attack craft: Turkish Navy has 19 missile-armed fast attack craft. 16 of them are taking part in this exercise.

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