Nigerian Navy launches new landing ship to boost amphibious operations

To enhance its amphibious operations, the Nigerian Navy has launched a new Landing Ship Tank (LST) at Damen Shipyard, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

The new LST landing ship tank; an LST 100 class vessel will replace the two decommissioned Hippo-class landing ships NNS Ambe and NNS Ofiom which were Type 502 amphibious vessels built by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Germany in 1978.

Type-502 Hippo-class landing ships NNS Ambe

The NN and Damen Shipyards signed the contract on the LST 100 on 13 June 2019 became the effective date of contract for the LST 100. The contract duration as agreed by both parties was approximately 36 months from the effective date of contract. The Keel laying ceremony for the LST 100 was held on the 9 December 2019 at The Damen-Albwardy Shipyard in Sharjah the UAE.

Over the last 2 years several Factory Acceptance Tests with regards to various components of the LST 100 have been jointly and successfully completed by the NN and Damen Shipyards.

The bid opening process for the procurement of the LST was held on 19 December 2017 and supervised/Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, Anadolu Deniz of Turkey and Indian Shipyards GOA of India competed for the contract in December 2017, which was conducted by a team from the Bureau of Public Procurement as well as a technical committee of the Nigerian Navy.

The LST contract is being handled by DSNS (Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding) the naval shipbuilding arm of Damen shipyards and the ship is being constructed at the Damen-Albwardi Shipbuilding Yard in Sharjar in the UAE.

Nigeria’s landing ship tank will be particularly useful in projecting power in the Gulf of Guinea and in international arena. In this role, LST-100 class ship will prove useful in the transportation of troops, military hardware, vehicles during maritime security operations. Additionally, the new LST will provide essential sealift capabilities during periods of national emergency.

To operate properly, this landing ship will require potent air defence and naval protection which will likely come from the new general purpose frigate being acquired.

With a lenght of 100.8 metres, displacement 1,300 tonnes, the new LST has a complement of 32 crew and can carry additional 250 persons.

LST-100 is powered by two Caterpillar/Cat 3516 C-rating engines and 4 Caterpillar C-18 generators, delivering an endurance of 15 days at 15 knots.

The vessel can carry two embarked LCVPs (landing craft, vehicle, personnel), a helicopter/UAV on the flight deck, unmanned undersea vehicles and miscellaneous cargo with a 25 ton deck crane.

In humanitarian missions or evacuation, the vessel can accommodate over 450 persons on its upper and lower decks.

Denel Shipyards operates a shipbuilding yard in South Africa and a maintenance yard Port Harcourt Nigeria.

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