The Nigerian Navy has taken a significant step towards enhancing its maritime capabilities by signing a contract with Turkish shipbuilder DEARSAN for the procurement of a 57-meter Tuzla patrol boat. This strategic collaboration is poised to bolster Nigeria’s naval fleet, strengthening its maritime security operations and supporting efforts to combat piracy, smuggling, and other illicit activities in the region. The partnership with DEARSAN marks a milestone in Nigeria’s commitment to maintaining a robust and modern naval force.
Nigeria, as a coastal nation in the Gulf of Guinea, faces various security challenges in its maritime domain. The Nigerian Navy plays a crucial role in safeguarding the country’s waters, ensuring the safety of vessels, and protecting vital economic interests. The acquisition of the Tuzla patrol boat from DEARSAN represents a major leap forward in Nigeria’s efforts to enhance its maritime security capabilities.
A 57-meter Tuzla Class Patrol Boat will also be delivered to the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Navy will be the fourth user of the 57-meter Patrol Boat after the Turkish Naval Forces, Turkmenistan Navy and Turkmenistan Coast Guard Command.
The Tuzla patrol boat, measuring 57 meters in length, is designed to operate effectively in coastal waters. It boasts advanced navigation systems, state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, and cutting-edge communication systems. The vessel’s versatile design allows it to undertake a wide range of missions, including maritime patrols, search and rescue operations, and border control activities. Equipped with modern weaponry, the Tuzla patrol boat can effectively deter and respond to security threats.
It has a maximum speed of 25+ knots, a range of 2000 nautical miles, and can carry a crew of 35 personnel. It will be powered by two 2720 KW Diesel engines. The Tuzla patrol boat weapons loadout is; 1 x 40 mm. Oto Melara Twin Barrel Gun, two 12.7 mm. Stabilized Automatic Machine Gun, and a ASW Rocket Launching System.
Apparently, the 57m Tuzla patrol boat was to be delivered to the Libyan navy prior to the Civil war in 2014. However, it will now be supplied to Nigeria.
The Patrol Boat, which can take active roles in Patrol /Escort, Intelligence, Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Anti-Smuggling & Anti-Piracy, Protection of Rights and Interests at Sea and Natural Resources, Maritime Situation Awareness duties and illegal Fisheries Inspection will also be equipped with Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, and Asymmetric Warfare weapon systems.
A contract has also been signed between Dearsan shipyard and the Nigerian Navy to Refit and Remodel the historically important NNS ARADU Frigate (F89), the Flagship of the Nigerian Navy. The refit and remodeling project of the MEKO 360 class NNS ARADU Frigate, which was built by the German Blohm & Voss Shipyard and commissioned in 1982, has a length of 125 meters and a displacement of 3500 tons, will be carried out at Dearsan’s shipyard in Tuzla, İstanbul. Within the scope of the project; systems, equipment and devices that are out of use due to age and obsolescence will be repaired or renewed with equivalent modern systems and the frigate will be brought to modern-day standards.
Earlier on, In August 2021, the Nigerian Navy (NN) announced its intention to procure two new offshore patrol vessels (OPV) after receiving former President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval. The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral AZ Gambo mention this at a dinner in honor of the Nigerian Navy graduates of the National Defence College course 29.
Subsequently, the Turkish DEARSAN Shipyard officially started the construction of two OPV-76 Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Nigerian Navy with a keel laying ceremony held on September 16, 2022. The high endurance offshore patrol vessels are configured in line with the Nigerian Navy requirements, which are designed and built entirely in the shipyard’s facilities and will be equipped with modern systems.