Turkish Navy wraps out Blue Homeland 2021 exercise

Blue Homeland
Turkish FACs in formation during the exercise

Turkish Navy completed the large-scale naval exercise named Blue Homeland 2021 on March 7. Turkish Minister of Defence and senior commanders participated in the last phase of the training; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the commanders online.

“Having a strong navy is not a choice for Turkey, is a “must.” We never acted with an expansionist mindset. We have no eyes on any country’s land. We are trying to protect our homeland and our rights. We have never compromised our interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.” said Mr.Erdogan during the online meeting.

“We are planning to commission test and training ship TCG UFUK and Landing Helicopter Dock Anadolu this year. Our first Air Independent Propulsion capable submarine Pirireis will be delivered to the Turkish Navy next year. We are at the stage of signing a contract for other three I-class frigates as well.”

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Test and training ship UFUK (Horizon)

The exercise was conducted in two phases. During the first phase, the warships conducted harbor activities, including pre-sail meetings, workshops, and computer-based activities.

On February 28, the assets deployed to the Aegean Sea and East Mediterranean and conducted combined drills.

The most significant issue of the exercise is the role of unmanned systems. Turkish Navy conducted firing exercises against surface and air drones to provide training in a real combat scenario.

This was the second iteration of the exercise. The first one was conducted in 2019. Though the Turkish Navy had scheduled the second iteration of the Blue Homeland exercise in 2020, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MAM-L Smart Micro Munition fire conducted in Blue Homeland 2021

Turkish Navy’s unmanned combat aerial vehicle TB-2 Bayraktar conducted MAM-L guided munition fire to a naval target during Blue Homeland 2021 exercise. The operational range of MAM-L is 15 kilometers. The drones are capable of engaging surface targets that have weak AAW capabilities. Turkish Navy has more than 10 UCAVs and planning to increase in the coming years.

Smart Micro Munition MAM-L has been developed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), light attack aircraft, and air-ground missions for low payload capacity air platforms. MAM-L can engage both stationary and moving targets with high precision.

Technical Specifications:

  • Diameter: 160 mm
  • Length: 1 m
  • Weight: 22 kg
  • Range: 8 km (15 km with Inertial Navigation System/Global – Positioning System Option)
  • Seeker: Semi-Active Laser Seeker
  • Warhead Types: Tandem Effective Against Reactive Armor, High-Explosive Blast Fragmentation, Thermobaric
    Fuse: Impact, Proximity