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.
It is armed with a 76 mm Leonardo Super Rapid gun, a 40 mm Leonardo light naval gun, two 12.7 mm stabilized automatic machineguns, two 12.7 mm manually operated machineguns, and two MBDA SIMBAD-RC surface-to-air missile systems.
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.
While the medium-term spanning two-five years would require ten OPVs, 20 helicopters, one hydrographic ship, two training ships, two logistics ships, and two mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs).
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.
Recent NN acquisitions includes NNS LANA, a 35m Hydrographic Survey Ship, construction work is ongoing for a LST-100 landing ship tank.
Nigeria has also indicated interest in procuring a general-purpose frigate to replace the former naval flagship Nigerian Navy Ship NNS ARADU.