Ghana’s navy has commissioned into service four patrol boats donated by China.
The commissioning ceremony was held on 31 October, according to a statement by the Chinese Embassy on 8 November, and was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Sun Baohong at Secondi port as well as Ghana’s defence minister Dominc Nitiwul and Chief of Ghana Navy Staff, Rear Admiral Peter Kofi Faidoo.
Baohong said the security of marine trade is becoming more and more important and China advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and is willing to contribute to the maintenance of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Nitiwul expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for donating the patrol boats. He said that Ghana and China have continued to strengthen cooperation in peace and security this year, the results of which not only benefit Ghana, but also benefit the entire Gulf of Guinea.
The four Chinese-made patrol boats (985Y) have a maximum displacement of 8.6 tons, a maximum speed of 38 knots and range of 220 nautical miles. The Ghanaian government named the four patrol boats after successive Chiefs of Ghana Navy Staff.
The boats were originally handed over to Ghana on 13 September. The boats will be used for maritime security, disaster relief and search and rescue operations.
In terms of a $7.5 million grant facility agreement signed in July this year, 28 Ghanaian military officers will be sent to China to study subjects that include security and defence. In August 15 Ghanaian officers went to China for military training, on courses ranging from three months to one year.
The beneficiaries will be drawn from the navy, army and the air force. Separately, China has offered a further 100 Million Yuan to train and equip the Ghana Police Service.
Previously, Ghana has bought Chinese military hardware that includes two 46 metre patrol vessels ordered from Poly Technologies in 2008. The two were commissioned in 2011. The navy also operates several other fast attack craft and patrol boats that were ordered from South Korea, the United States and Germany over the past decade.