Nautic Africa launches flagship 35 metre Sentinel vessel for Gulf of Guinea ops

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Nautic Africa, a subsidiary of Paramount Maritime Holdings, has announced the launch of a new 35 metre Sentinel vessel, the second of a new enhanced class, which will enter service in the Gulf of Guinea for oil and gas company missions and escort patrols amidst rising piracy in the region.

Following the successful completion of sea trials, the multi-purpose vessel will head for the Gulf of Guinea, Paramount said on 10 February. It did not disclose the customer, but said the client is a licenced Nigerian company with a 100% indigenous holding, with a product range tailored to meet specific and general requirements of major international oil companies (IOCs) operating within Nigeria’s ‘Blue Economy’ such as Chevron, ENI, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Total and Tullow.

Paramount Maritime Holdings Chief Executive Officer James Fisher, stated: “The completion of our 35 metre flagship vessels during the COVID crisis is an important achievement and milestone for the South African shipbuilding industry, ushering in a new era of capability, excellence and performance. This is a celebration of what can be achieved despite facing, what seemed like, insurmountable challenges. The updated 35m vessel will be a formidable maritime platform for customers across Africa.”

Paramount said the vessel is well suited to environments like the Gulf of Guinea where insecurity is steadily climbing, in large part due to the region’s diverse natural resources; transnational piracy, oil bunkering and terrorism continue to be a serious threat to the region’s stability.

The 35 metre Sentinel has a range of 1 150 nautical miles cruising at 20 knots and can reach a maximum speed of 28 knots, supported by three CAT C32 ACERT 1600 hp engines and fixed pitch propellers.

The vessel has ballistic protection (wheelhouse STANAG 4569 KE Level II – 7.62×39 armour piercing rounds, deck-house STANAG 4569 KE Level I – 7.62×51 mm rounds), complete with a ‘Super Shield’ composite wheelhouse structure and an internally clad main deck to a height of 2 metres. This gives assault rifle-level protection for the full crew, security personnel and passengers on board.

In February 2020 Nautic Africa launched a new 35 metre Sentinel vessel for Nigerian customer Hadnuvo Marine Ltd. The vessel, MV Khajan, was the first model of the new design in this class. Nautic has over the last decade built a large number of Sentinel vessels for export customers.

Nautic Africa also announced that larger naval versions (40 metres and 47 metres) of the vessel have been made available due to rising interest from navies, and will be offered globally to bolster military and fishing patrol operations across EEZ waters.