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Nigerian Navy to receive more ex-US vessels

altThe Nigerian Navy will receive two more ex-United States vessels next year, the US Navy Survey Ship John McDonnell and the US Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, on Friday said that the two vessels would be inspected between May and August next year, reports Nigeria’s National Mirror.

Ezeoba was represented by Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor, Chief of Policy and Plans, who said that the United States has transferred several ships to Nigeria over the last decade. These include the NNS Thunder, Obula, Nwamba, Kyanwa and Ologbo.

“These ships have contributed immensely to the security of the nation’s maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea,” he said. The vessels are donated as part of the US military’s Excess Defence Articles system.

The USNS John McDonnell was deactivated on August 25, 2010, as the US Navy streamlined survey operations. The 63 metre, 2 054 ton oceanographic survey vessel can launch two 34 foot launches.

The 115 metre long 3 250 ton Gallatin is a member of the Hamilton class – the Nigerian Navy has already taken delivery of the Hamilton class cutter Chase (now NNS Thunder), which was commissioned in January 2012.

Gallatin, introduced into Coast Guard service in 1968, is equipped with a helicopter flight deck, retractable hangar and a fast boat. The 115 metre High Endurance Cutter (WHEC) has four main engines and can be driven by either twin diesel engines or twin gas turbines via two controllable-pitch propellers.

Over the weekend the Nigerian Navy said it had impounded more than 40 vessels suspected of being involved in the illegal oil trade, as the Navy steps up its fight against maritime crime.

Ezeoba said that the Navy’s fleet was expanding, with the commissioning of five Seaward Defence Boats earlier this year and the construction of another indigenous Andoni class boat and the construction of two 95 metre offshore patrol vessels, which are expected to arrive before the end of next year.
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