The Nigerian Navy has received nine inshore patrol boats from Sri Lanka in a contract worth $4.2 million.
The boats were handed over on 6 May in a ceremony attended by Nigerian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka S U Ahmed, the Director General of Operations of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral Dharmendra Wettewa, and the Director General Engineering, Rear Admiral Nilantha Premasiri.
According to the Sri Lankan Navy, six Arrow class boats and three unspecified inshore patrol craft (possibly Wave Rider class boats) were handed over in what the Navy said was its first international defence sale. The boats were built at the Navy Yard at Welisara and the earnings from the sale will be used to upgrade facilities and boats built there.
The 14.5 metre long and 3.5 metre wide inshore patrol craft are powered by two 350 HP engines. They are equipped with a radar system, GPS and electronic compass.
The Sri Lankan Navy has previously used the Arrow and Wave Rider class boats, notably during the conflict against Tamil Tiger rebels. The boats were developed from 1994 by the Navy Special Boat Squadron, and around 120 have been delivered so far.
The Nigerian Navy expressed interest in Sri Lankan patrol craft last year, with a Nigerian delegation led by Rear Admiral GA Anyankpele meeting the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy Vice Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne in Colombo on 18 November 2015.
Nigerian naval officer cadets have been trained at the prestigious Naval and Maritime Academy in Trincomalee.