Ghana’s Navy has received four brand new 40 meters flex fighter vessels to enhance maritime security and protect its domain.
The four vessels (GNS) Volta, Densu, Pra, and Ankobra arrived on board a merchant’s vessel BBC Nile over the weekend from Singapore’s Penguin Shipyard.
They are currently at the quayside in Takoradi port. Local sources say that they will be based under Western Naval Command at Sekondi pending when they’re commissioned into service.
The 40 meters Flex Fighter is based on Singaporean Penguin Shipyard’s Flex 40 series of crew boats but fitted with all-around wheelhouse ballistic protection (STANAG Level I), machinegun mounts with gunner shields forward and aft, and cabins and amenities for 12 security personnel.
The 40-meter long aluminum-hulled Flex Fighter is powered by three Caterpillar C32 main engines each providing 1,450 hp, giving a top speed of 28 knots. Up to 54 passengers can be seated and there is a 93 square meter cargo deck.
Next year, 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 was 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.
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.
Since the start of this decade, Ghana’s Navy has been steadily building its naval strength, by introducing new vessels and building a new base.
Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul disclosed during the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEC 2019) conference held in Accra on 24 July, that the Ghanaian Navy has ordered eight naval vessels including two offshore patrol boats for the protection of the country’s offshore oil and gas infrastructure.
“We have also signed a contract worth 200 million dollars for the construction of a forward operating base at Ezinlibo and associated patrols boats in the western region to give close protection to out offshore oil and gas infrastructure,”
In July 2017, Ghana took delivery of four Chinese-made patrol boats (985Y) as part of a $7.5 million military assistance package to Ghana to enhance the military cooperation between the two countries. The four boats have a maximum displacement of 8.6 tons, a maximum speed of 38 knots and range of 220 nautical miles.