The Nigerian Navy has taken delivery of one Manta and two OCEA patrol boats, donated by the Nigerian Port Authority to fight maritime crime.
The boats were handed over by the Port Authority (NPA) on March 18 during a ceremony attended by the Managing Director of the NPA Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who said the handover demonstrated the Authority’s determination to collaborate and partner with other relevant government agencies to secure the nation’s territorial waters both off shore and on shore.
Abdullahi added that “We are optimistic that these patrol boats, consisting of one 32 meters OCEA named NNS Dorina and two 17 meters Manta boats named NNS Torie and NNS Egede, with their unique operational features and capacities, will augment the fleets of the Nigerian Navy in their search and rescue operations within the nation’s water fronts”.
The OCEA patrol boats are FPB 98 models. The company delivered three 24 metre FPB 72 patrol craft to the Navy in 2012.
The Managing Director also disclosed that the Authority in collaboration with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has plans to rehabilitate the Navy’s Forward Operational Base (FOB) at Takwa Bay.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jubrin, said the donation could not have come at a etter time considering the prevailing security challenges in the nation’s maritime domain.
Represented by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral S I Alade, the Chief of Naval Staff noted that Nigeria’s Maritime space is of immense importance to the nation’s maritime domain.
The recent acquisitions are part of a string of orders from the Nigerian Navy. Late last year it emerged that the service had taken delivery of three new 17 metre-long Manta Mk II ASD Littoral Interceptors and one new 25 metre-long Shaldag Mk II Fast Patrol Craft.
The four boats were commissioned into service at the NNS Beecroft Naval Base on Victoria Island in Lagos in November.
The NN now has 22 of the 17 metre-long Manta Mk II ASD Littoral Interceptors while the number of Israeli-made Shaldag Fast Patrol Craft (FPC) vessels has increased to five. The first two Shaldag FPCs were delivered in 2009 while two more were commissioned into service in February 2013.
The Suncraft International Manta Mk II is powered by two 1 200 hp diesel engines, giving a top speed between 45 and 50 knots. The 16.5 metre long vessels feature ballistic protection, carry a crew of six and have a range of 250 nautical miles at 35 knots.
The Nigerian Navy is expected to receive two P-18N offshore patrols vessels from China in the second half of this year and is expected to take delivery of two more ex-US Coastguard vessels, USNS John McDonnell and USCGC Gallatin, in due course.