By: Emmanuel Tortiv
The Federal Government of Nigeria has begun the construction of two units of 76m long High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (HE OPV).
The Vessels, which are capable of conducting Search and Rescue operations, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling, and anti-drug trafficking operations as well as disaster relief operations are designed and built entirely in the shipyard’s facilities according to Nigerian specifications and will be equipped with modern systems.
In a statement by the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Commodore Ayo Vaughan, indicated that the vessels will be deployed to project Naval power within the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), contribute significantly to enhancing global maritime commerce, deterring oil theft, and ensuring secure seas for exploration.
According to the statement, the leadership of the Nigerian Navy Commended President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Defense, as well as the Senate and House Committees on Navy for their untiring support to the Nigerian Navy towards the successful acquisition of these platforms.
It said the actualization of this project is part of the fleet renewal/recapitalization efforts of the Nigerian Navy.
According to Commodore Vaughan, the construction of the HE OPVs at Dearsan Shipyard represents landmark cooperation between the Governments of Nigeria and Turkey.
Speaking at the ‘keel’ laying ceremony which took place recently at Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd) said the Signing of the contract did not only represent the commitment of the Nigerian Government to improve the operational effectiveness of the Nigerian Navy but also serves to strengthen the strategic alliances between Nigeria and Turkey.
In his remarks at the ceremony, the Nigerian Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, said the HE OPVs, are configured in line with the Nigerian Navy requirements.
“The construction of the two HE OPVs is indeed another manifestation of the Federal Government’s commitment to maintaining a well-equipped Navy that Nigerians would be proud of and that is capable of discharging its constitutional roles”. Gambo affirmed.
The partnership between Nigeria and Turkey is expected to flourish significantly as the Federal Government of Nigeria continues to patronize Turkish companies in further support of the national security and mutual interest of both countries.
The Contract between the Nigerian Navy and Dearsan Shipyard was signed on November 3, 2021, and is expected to be completed within 37 months.