Paramount Maritime has received an order to supply fifteen Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB) to the Nigerian Navy.
The order which comprises of 8.5 metre and 9.5 metre Guardian fast patrol boats amongst others would also includes training for the Nigerian Navy and maritime personnel.
James Fisher, the chairman of Nautic Africa, a subsidiary of Paramount Maritime, disclosed that the company has been working in Nigeria for more than ten years, stating that this new contract is a “long-term technology transfer.”
This new contract is coming on the heels of a recent commissioning of ten patrol boats in September 2018, another four were commissioned in November 2017.
The RHIBs can be fitted with different engines, and also featuring ballast system for stability. Additionally, it offers extra ballistic protection in the form of detachable armoured panels mounted on the port and starboard sides.
Nigeria is currently facing piracy issues across her maritime exclusive zone. Concerning this, Eric Ichikowitz the Senior Vice President of Paramount Group stated that, “the commitment presented by the Nigerian Navy today is a bold but necessary step to proactively deter attacks against ships in the Gulf of Guinea and along Nigeria’s coastline.”
He further noted that maritime matters have become more and more important in preserving sovereign nations’ territorial integrity.
“Under the leadership and stewardship of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe ibas, the Nigerian navy has been substantially increasing the capacity and the capability of Nigerian’s security services…and we look forward to continued and shared growth, both to preserve Nigeria’s economic stability and enhance the region’s defence industrial complex, which as I’ve previously stated, creates significant benefits to the economy through local job creation and training.”
Ichikowitz said he hopes the Nigerian Navy will order additional RHIBs from Paramount, noting that the patrol boats can be used for the military training of Special Forces, rescue and patrol operations and the protection of oil and gas assets by both the Nigerian Navy, and the Navy’s Special Boat Services.