Details of the two new offshore patrol vessels set to be procured by the Nigerian Navy (NN) from Turkey’s Messrs Dearsan Shipyard Limited has emerged.
In August, the Nigerian Navy (NN) announced its intention to procure two new offshore patrol vessels (OPV), after it received approval from the President Muhammadu Buhari.
Turkish Dearsan Shipyard has been awarded a contract to deliver in 37 months two new OPV 76 to Nigeria.
The two new Turkish-built OPV 76 will further enhance Nigeria’s naval capacity currently served by two P-18N OPVS, two Hamilton-class patrol cutters, a number of fast patrol missile-boats, and several inshore patrol vessels.
They will be used for maritime interdiction operations, surveillance and special forces operations as well as providing naval fire support to land forces. “The OPVs will also be capable of conducting search and rescue operations, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations and disaster relief operations among others,” Admiral Gambo said.
The OPV 76 vessels has a length of 76.8 metres, beam of 11 metres and draft of 2.9 metres, it is crewed by 43 sailors, and the steel-hulled vessels displace 1,100 tons.
The vessel is powered by four MAN 18VP185 diesel engines providing a maximum speed of 28 knots and a range of 3,000 nautical miles. It can also carry a medium-size helicopter on the aft deck.
The main gun of the ship will be the 40-millimetre MARLIN gun of Leonardo and will be armed with the Aselsan’s 30-millimetre SMASH at the stern of the ship. The ship will also be equipped with two Aselsan 12.7 mm RWS STAMP.
The Turkish company HAVELSAN will supply the ADVENT combat management system for the new OPVs, and the operator consoles will be supplied by another Turkish company, YALTES. The sensor suit of the new OPVs consists of the 2D surface search radar from the Italian company GEM Elettronica and the fire control system EO.
In addition, the vessels will be equipped with HAVELSAN ADVENT Combat Management System (CMS), HAVELSAN Ship Data Distribution System (SDDS), two operator consoles manufactured by YALTES (for ADVENT SYS), YALTESIntegrated Platform Management System (IPMS), Italian GEM Elettronica product 2D radar (with surface and air surveillance capability), and GEM Elettronica product electro-optical fire control system.
Based on a modular design, the OPV 76 will be deployed for offshore patrol duties in peacetime, but it will retain the capability and flexibility to be quickly outfitted with sensors and weapons to be tasked for warfare and maritime defence purposes, at a cost effective price.
Chief Executive Officer of Dearsan Shipyard, Murat Gordi, said the project will further strengthen ties between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Turkey through the provision of added value in technological transfer and expertise.
Admiral Gambo also confirmed that the Nigerian Navy continues to follow its its multi-year fleet renewal strategic plan which was formulated in 2009, and is outlined thus; short, medium, and long term.
In the short-term two light frigates, two 85 meter OPVs, six 17 meter Manta Class IPCs, two 38 meter FPBs, six Shaldag MK 11 patrol crafts two combat Augusta A138 helicopters, one Landing Platform Dock, and two Logistics Ships.
In the long term spanning between five to ten years, the Nigerian Navy will require three Conventional Submarines, two corvettes, two LPDs, 20 long-range maritime patrol helicopters, two training ships, and two MCMVs.
Nigeria has also indicated interest in procuring a general-purpose frigate to replace the former naval flagship Nigerian Navy Ship NNS ARADU.