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Navy inaugurates 16 new boats

Sep 03, 2018

The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Monday added 16 new boats, including two  110 MKII Fast Patrol Crafts (FPC), NNS NGURU and NNS EKULU to its fleet.

Also inducted were four 72MKII Inshore Patrol Craft (IPC)- NNS GONGOLA, NNS OSE, NNS CALABAR, and NNS SHIRORO- and 10 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats.

These boats, the navy said, would be deployed to protect critical oil installations in the Niger Delta as well as for joint operations, patrols of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Maritime Zone E.

The Nation reports that the two 110 MKII FPC, NNS NGURU and NNS EKULU are named after towns in Yobe and Rivers States, and manned by Commanders Emmanuel Fingesi and Andrew Zidon respectively.

Built by the Ocea crew in France, the River Town Class FPCs have an overall length of 35m, with a water line length of 29.80m; overall beam of 7.10m, maximum draft of 1.80m and midship moulded depth of 3.50m. Their operation profile include a cruising speed of 12knots, maximum speed of 35knots and crew of 36 including nine commissioned officers.

The latest additions had increased the navy’s platforms acquisition in the last two years to over 200, said the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas.

Noting that the NN has the challenging task of safeguarding the country’s maritime interests, Ibas said the service, in keeping with the realities, conduct frequent re-invention.

He said: “The acquisition of the six new OCEA FPC and 10 Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBS) will narrow the capability gaps in enhancing security of the nation’s maritime expanse.

“Their commissioning and induction respectively into service is therefore another operational milestone for the NN as they will complement existing Maritime Domain Awareness Capability in the face of its inherent need for a potent interdiction capability.

“I must however be quick to observe that, despite this commendable stride, we have barely scratched the outstanding deficit in the NN fleet. Capacity building therefore is a running priority of the NN. The NN continues to apply its double pronged approach of platform sourcing from both foreign shipyards and local manufacturing.

“Domestically, local boat building associates like messrs John Holt Plc and Epenal Boat Builders which have accounted for the delivery of over 200 boats in the past, continue to be patronised. The NN dockyard remains productively engaged as it is on course for the delivery of a third straight Seaward Defence Boat (SDB), now a 42 meter boat.