The Ghanaian Navy (GN) has commissioned it’s four new Flex fighter patrol boats, and is awaiting the delivery of two other offshore patrol vessels.
The Flex fighters were commissioned on 25 February at the Sekondi-Takoradi Naval Base in the Western Region by Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, after being delivered in early January from Singapore’s Penguin Shipyard.
The four vessels are christened Ghana Navy Ship (GNS) Volta, GNS Densu, GNS Pra and GNS Ankobra, and are 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 Ghanaian Navy will utilize the four boats to protect its oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Guinea.
“In addition to these four ships being commissioned today, Government is in the process of acquiring two offshore patrol vessels with high endurance limits, to maintain a constant presence at sea,” Akufo-Addo is reported by the Presidency as saying.
Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul disclosed during the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEC 2019) conference held in Accra on 24 July that Ghana will soon receive two unspecified OPVs.
French shipbuilder Ocea, German shipyard Lürssen, and British engineering and services company Babcock International are currently in the contest to supply OPVs to the Ghanaian Navy.
Since the early last decade, Ghana has been steadily building its naval strength, by introducing new vessels and building a new base.
Currently, the Navy of Ghana has a total of 11 ships including four Snake-class patrol vessels, two Balsam-class patrol ships, one Chamsuri-class patrol boat, two Albatros-class fast attack craft, and two Warrior-class/Gepard-class fast attack craft.
Bu 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.
In 2017, China donated four patrol boats to the Ghanaian navy as part of a $7.5 million military assistance package to Ghana to enhance the military cooperation between the two countries.