Friday, March 20, 2009

Somali Pirates: Turks Protect One of Their Own

Reported as Turkish warship foils pirate attack on ship off Yemen:
A Turkish warship foiled a pirate attack on a Turkish commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden, the army said on Friday.

Turkish army spokesman Metin Gurak told a weekly press briefing in Ankara that cargo vessel MV Ulusoy 8 reported it was being attacked by pirates on board two fast-moving skiffs Thursday.

He said the TCG Giresun immediately headed toward the region and sent a helicopter, foiling the attack.

The warship is part of the multinational task force designed to combat Somali pirates that have preyed on vessels plying the important shipping lanes in the region.
This Turkish warship has thwarted attacks on merchant ships of other countries, too. Giresun is a Perry-class frigate, formerly USS Antrim(FFG-20). Perry-class frigates were designed as escort ships:
Perry-class frigates were designed primarily as Anti-submarine warfare ships intended to provide open-ocean escort of amphibious ships and convoys in low to moderate threat environments in a global war with the Soviet Union. They could also provide limited defense against anti-ship missiles extant in the '70s and '80s. The ships are equipped to escort and protect carrier battle groups, amphibious landing groups, underway replenishment groups, and convoys. They can also conduct independent operations to perform such tasks as counterdrug surveillance, maritime interception operations, and exercises with other nations. The addition of NTDS, LAMPS helicopters, and the Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS) gave these ships a combat capability far beyond the class program expectations, and has made the ships an integral and valued asset in virtually any war-at-sea scenario and particularly well-suited for operation in the littoral.
According to the Navy website, there were 30 Perry-class frigates in US service as of early February. Photo is from when Giresun was a U.S.ship.

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