United States’ SAFE Boats International will supply two 38-foot (12 m) Defender class boats along with trailers, spare parts and training to the Ghanaian Navy to help in the fight against piracy and other maritime crime.
SAFE Boats International awarded a $1.1 million contract by the US Coast Guard on 1 June to supply the two Defender class by the end of September 2023.
The SAFE (Secure Around Flotation Equipped) Defender boats is made of aluminium-hulled vessel, and equipped with a foam-filled floatation collar. It carry capacity is 10 persons, and can be transported by a C-130 Hercules aircraft or truck.
This is not the first time that Ghana is receiving the Defender class boats, in 2015 the US Coast Guard had provided five 27-foot Defender class boats to the West African nation.
This acquisition is part of the Ghanaian Navy’s growth plan to improve on it’s capacity to handle the maritime and security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea. In October 2017 it received four patrol boats donated by China.
The Defender class boats has also been supplied to other African nations including Liberia, Djibouti, Togo and Benin.
The Djiboutian Navy received four Defender patrol boats from the United States on 22 February, as part of a train-and-equip partnership between the US Department of State and the Djiboutian military.
Likewise, the Republic of Benin received 12-metre-long SAFE International 38 Full Cabin patrol boats in September last year to better protect the Port of Cotonou and Gulf of Guinea coastline rife to increasing maritime insecurity.