Paramount Maritime has delivered ten of its Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) to the Nigerian Navy. The vessels were commissioned into service on 3 September by Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali.
The boats were commissioned along with six Ocea patrol vessels from France, which will be used to enhance maritime security and protect the country’s oil and gas assets.
The ten Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) that were supplied by Paramount Maritime include 8.5 metre and 9.5 metre Guardian fast patrol vessels. These vessels been accepted into service by the Navy and are part of a total consignment of 14 vessels – the first four were commissioned in November 2017.
The vessels are all ballistically protected Fast Patrol boats which Paramount said are ideally suited to either ship to shore, or shore to shore fast patrol and security intervention duties, for both the Nigerian Navy, and the Navy’s Special Boat Services. The vessels will also be used for the military training of Special Forces, rescue and patrol operations and the protection of oil and gas assets.
The Senior Vice President of Paramount Group, Eric Ichikowitz said: “The procurement of these vessels by the Ministry of Defence demonstrates the Government’s commitment to strengthening the Nigerian Navy in their critical role of safeguarding the country’s blue ocean economy.
“Under the leadership and stewardship of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, the Nigerian Navy has been substantially increasing the capacity and the capability of the Nigerian’s security services in combatting the ever increasing acts of piracy and intimidation in the Gulf of Guinea, and in the Niger Delta.”
Paramount Group said it is exploring opportunities to manufacture it’s naval technologies in Nigeria through its ‘portable manufacturing’ model which has been implemented successfully around the world.
Ichikowitz added: “Our portable manufacturing model enables in-country manufacturing, the transfer of technology and skills, and the creation of local job opportunities. Depending on the requirements of the client this could also result in the rolling out of a defence industrial complex, thus creating significant benefits for the economy. We are very proud of our partnership with the Nigerian Navy and through such strategic alliances we can bolster the local shipbuilding industry, economic growth and social development.”
As part of Paramount Maritime’s contract to supply the Guardian vessels to Nigeria, the company also provided training for Nigerian Navy SBS, maintenance and technical personnel. This included product familiarisation training, as well as handover and acceptance testing of the four new 9.5m Guardian Fast Patrol Boats to the Nigerian Special Boat Service (SBS) at the Navy Base on Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.