A batch of three Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors: commissioned 10-5-2011

A batch of three Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors: commissioned 10-5-2011

Manta Mk.IIs still dominate the flotilla of between thirteen and fifteen Manta Littoral Interceptors

Manta Mk.IIs still dominate the flotilla of between thirteen and fifteen Manta Littoral Interceptors

New kid on the block - Manta Mk.III

New kid on the block – Manta Mk.III

Gentlemen, looking through some Bureau of Public Procurement online reports yesterday, it became clear that whereas the Nigerian Navy had acquired about six units of 17 metre Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors as of September 2009, the $8.809m order which was placed for one Manta patrol craft in November 2009 was for a variant of the larger and more modern 18 metre MANTA Mk. III fast patrol craft.

Again on 6 October 2010, the FG placed a $36.4 million order for the delivery of FOUR MANTA MK.III interceptors from the Suncraft Group, which implied a unit cost of $9.1m.




Material: AL

Length(overall) 17.95m

Breadth at Central Hull: 3.60 m

Breadth(Transom): 4.30m

Draft at Full Load –

Total Power:
2 X 1800HP@ 2300 rpm

Maximum Speed : +45 knots


Complement = Crew + Passengers
6 + 10 passengers

Propulsion: WJ

Ballistic Protection: NO

Beaching YES


Material FRP

Length(overall):17.95 m

Breadth at Central Hull: 3.60 m

Breadth(Transom) 4.30 m

Draft at Full Load –

Total Power:
2 X 1800 HP @ 2300 rpm

Maximum Speed +40 knots

Range 220nm@30 knots

Complements = Crew + Passengers
6 + 10 passengers

Propulsion SD

Ballistic Protection NO

Beaching NO


17m Fast Patrol/Interceptor Craft (FPIC)

The MANTA MKII ASD belongs to our highly successful series of multipurpose high speed crafts designed according to the award winning ASD (Arrow System Design) hull shape. The main mission profiles for this craft are:

Patrol / Escort


Border Protection

Boarding of suspect craft

Search & rescue

The use of aluminium as building material means that this high speed craft can be easily adapted to special and varied requirements of our customers.

The baseline configuration accommodates a crew of 6 and consists of a fully airconditioned wheelhouse and a 6-bed cabin complete with sanitary amenities.

The propulsion system consists of twin 1200 hp MAN or MTU diesel engines coupled with surface piercing Arneson drives with Rolla propellers which allows it to achieve top speeds of 45 to over 50 knots depending on adopted configuration. Research is currently underway to design and develop a variant with waterjet propulsion.



The first and baseline version comes with a weapon plant for a pedestal-mounted 12.7 mm machine gun or 40 mm Automatic Grenade Launcher located in the gun pit at the fore part of the boat. The aft deck accommodates weapon plants for up to 3 x pedestal mounted 12.7 (or 7.62) mm machine guns (port, starboard and centre) which ensure maximum fire coverage against incoming threats from all fronts.


TYPE B incorporates ballistic or blast resistant solutions capable of withstanding threat levels up to NIJ STD 0-108.01 Level III (multi-strike 7.62 x 51 M80 ammunition).

The 12.7 mm machine gun at the fore is replaced by either a 40/50 Remote Weapon Station developed in-house by Suncraft or other commercially available small calibre naval gun systems.


Material: Aluminium

Length (overall):16.5 meters

Breadth (central hull: 3.6 meters

Breadth (transom): 4.30 meters

Draft at full load: 0.95 meters

Total Power: 2400 hp

Maximum Speed: +45 knots

Range@35 knots constant speed: approx 250 nautical miles

Crew: 6

Border protection includes anti-smuggling, anti piracy, fisheries inspections & patrols, immigration law enforcement



With additional information from the online portal of the Suncraft Group


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies


  1. beegeagle says:

    That said, the Nigerian Navy took delivery of three Manta ASD craft in May and another four units of same in October 2011. All of those were commissioned at the Western Naval Command.

    Earlier this month, deliveries of gunboats to the NN swung eastwards as SIX units of an unnamed gunboat type were delivered to the Eastern Naval Command. Been searching far and wide…stonewall. Does anyone know if the deliveries to the Eastern Fleet were Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors, variant (Mk.II or Mk.III) immaterial?

    Based on the fact that all seven units of Manta Interceptors commissioned during the months of May and October were delivered to the WNC, one strongly suspects that those six units of gunboats delivered to the ENC about two weeks ago, were most probably Manta boats as well. IF THAT BE THE CASE, then it would imply that over 20 units of the ulltramodern and highly-capable Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors have now been delivered to the NN.

    Well, MoD might as well consider a $75m deal for the delivery of six Shaldag Mk.II Fast Attack Craft for deployment to the new FOBs dotted along the 853km coastline. Left to me each FOB would have one Shaldag Mk.II FPIC, two units of Manta ASD Interceptors, three units of 12m Stingray boats and four units of RBS Defender response boats as standard issue.

    If, like I strongly suspect, the six patrol craft coming in from Holland are the already-owned German 31m and British 35m patrol craft (refurbished and upgraded by TP Marine), each FOB should get one unit of those. That way, we can be sure that the FOBs have enough steel with which to undertake coastal patrols, anti-piracy,anti-bunkering and counterinsurgency missions.

    To ensure that they are able to sustain joint operations with Army amphibious forces, each FOB really should get a 32-metre landing craft which would be able to move about two platoons of troops with their equipment in one sweep.

    Finally, if we had our way, one would retain a 12-metre X38 Combat Catamaran and a 9-metre NC27 tactical insertion boat at each FOB for the benefit of Navy SBS commandos and Army Special Forces commandos who are fated to be called into action every now and then to resolve situations related to pirate attacks and hostage taking, storming hijacked vessels and attacking hostile targets.

    Above you have our idea of what a READY Forward Operating Base should contain.

    Last time I saw TV footage from the NNS Delta in the Niger Delta city of Warri, it was clear that some of their littoral warfare and anti-piracy platforms include Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors and RBS Defender boats – nice. It also made me believe STRONGLY that there could be MORE Manta boats in the NN inventory than what we would like to imagine.

    One has also seen footage of RBS Defender boats operating out of FOB Igbokoda as they patrolled the waters around the Okitipupa axis.

  2. doziex says:

    Good news I guess. but painfully slow. I think the JSFT in the delta should be preparing for the next up rising/war. Now that they have taken over most rebel bases, they should be fortified into jungle army camps ala the chindits and other west african colonial forces in Burma. (ww2).
    The news accounts of the amphibious operations that captured the rebel bases indicated that some amphibious crafts were sunk on approach by MEND. Therefore I hope the JSFT are bulking up on amphibious APCs, such BTR-80s with slats countermeasures against RPGs. These would lead the assault and the other amphibious crafts would follow. Heliborne troops should also be readied along with many more MI-17s, MI-24/35. The employment of barges as mobile artillery platforms would also be wise. AC-130 gunships would be better. But I can guarantee the US wouldn’t sell it to us. All these preparations are in line with Beegeagle’s suggestion of a more permanent division tasked and equiped to pacify/protect/control the niger delta.
    Now the real genius would be for some in this forum to come up with a design/strategy to drill and transport crude oil to the jetties without it being massively vulnerable to attacks, sabotage,theft and spillage?

    • beegeagle says:

      Right, man.

      First off, I believe that the NA were thinking along those lines when they acquired 47 units of the ultramodern BTR-3 APC and 18 upgraded units of the older BTR-70 from The Ukraine, as the Niger Delta insurgency raged on grimly in 2007-8.

      As for the NAF, the revived and redesignated Air Mobility Command HQed in Yenagoa swung into action earlier this month, the Command having been presented with their colours.

      Earlier this year while commissioning a transit camp for officers at the 207 Special Mobility Group (a unit of the Air Mobility Command), the Air Chief informed Nigerians that the Group, whose designation suggests a strong counterinsurgency bias, would be receiving an initial batch of six Mi-17/171-type helicopters. Further deliveries are earmarked for the near future.

      The procurement of Mi-171Sh Terminator airframes has to have been the smartest procurement decision of the past decade. In Africa, only Algeria, Chad and Nigeria operate that powerful airframe at this time. It is essentially an enlarged Mi-17 and Mi-24 rolled into one. The nature of the operations of 207 Special Mobility Group and the designation of same suggests that the Terminator would be their exclusive airframe.

      The $560m allocation for the NAF for FY 2011, up from about $380m last year suggests that they are going to ramp up stocks of Agusta A109 LUH and Mi-17/Mi-24V/Mi-35P/Mi-171Sh Terminator in 2011. The quiet and hardworking Air Chief has been everywhere breathing new life into “slow-run” airbases and has reactivated two hitherto deactivated bases in Minna and Sokoto. All of those would be needing airframes.

      To save cost, we can do some smart joggling and come up with new air assets. Based on the rates which sufficed for the acquisition of Mi-17V5 by the South Sudanese, it is possible for us to get them at a unit cost of $6 million. The quoted price of the Mi-171Sh Terminator is $20m. We can get some used Mi-24V helics from Russia, Belarus or Ukraine and have them upgraded all for a unit cost of $5million and it is possible to grab a new-build Mi-35P at a unit cost of $12.5 million.

      Assuming, like we suggested, that the FG develop the healthy habit of releasing the sums of $150m each to the NN and the NAF and $125m for the NA to undertake PROCUREMENT on an annual basis, you can see that it would be easy for the NAF to end up acquiring the following units of airframes in ONE year alone:

      * Mi-24V (3 refurbed units) $15m
      * Mi-17V5(4 new units) $25 mil
      * Mi-171Sh Terminator(3,new)$60m
      * Mi-35P (4 new units) $50m

      There you have your $150m procurement allocation well spent. The NAF already operate four units of the imperious Mi-171Sh Terminator combat transport helics. They acquired six units of Mi-35P from Russia in 2001, three units of Mi-24V from The Ukraine in 2008 and two units of Mi-24V from Belarus in 2010.

      Unconfirmed reports indicate that on the eve of President Medvedev’s visit to Nigeria in June 2009, a MIX OF Mi-24V and Mi-35P were delivered to Nigeria. How plausible is this?

      Well, the series of Mi-35P delivered in 2001 came in a lighter shade of camouflage(leaf green-oriented) and they were numbered NAF 530-535. That is the only recorded delivery on the logs where such details are normally entered into.

      BUT another unreported delivery of Mi-24V and Mi-35P gunships PROBABLY DID take place and that would ONLY have been the said MIXED deliveries of an unknown quantity which arrived shortly before President Medvedev visited in 2009. That accounts for the different colour schemes on NAF Mi-35P attack helicopters WHEREAS the popularly documented six units of Mi-35P which were acquired in 2000 all came in one colour scheme.

      Check out our blog post on “NIGERIAN AIR FORCE AIR EXPO 2010” and see the photo of a pair of Mi-24V and Mi-35P gunships painted in darker and more conventional shade of camouflage numbered NAF 536 and NAF 538.

      How do you copy, gentlemen?

  3. Okay I have held this to my chest long enough. the Niger Delta insurgency presentedan opportunity
    YUP the nigerian goverment needs to establish a Marines component just like the U.S , U.K., GERMANY and every other country with long Coastlines. Something modest Two BATTALIONS
    (1600 MEN ) .Based on the u.k/ us MODEL their base should be either CALABAR or IKOT Where the base would have room to expand PORT HARCOURT IS TOO CROWDED. Okay I have let the genie out the bottle

    • beegeagle says:

      In a discussion at an online forum on 21 November, 2011 we made the following prescription;


      ” ….one good way of achieving that could be the wholesale upgrade of MBB 105 light helicopters and transferring same to the NA for the purpose of maintaining its own air mobility and air assault capability. Those would be armed with tactical weapons and anti-tank missiles.

      The NAF would retain exclusive control of Mi-171Sh Terminator combat transport/assault helics, Mi-24V and Mi-35P attack helicopters, Mi-17 and Super Puma utility helos and the Agusta A109 LUH.

      Personally, I do not see anything wrong with the foregoing arrangement. The NA should also look the other way and allow the NAF Regiment to expand and become a crack commando unit while the National Air Defence Corps should also become a potent AA artillery unit.

      The Nigerian Navy, in addition to its crack SBS Command should be allowed to raise a Naval Infantry Regiment comprising two 750-man squadrons assigned to the Eastern and Western Naval Commands.”

  4. doziex says:

    I thought we already had an amphibious brigade. Currently deployed in the niger delta. They exist as part of the 82 composite division. The question is how competent are they ?
    There has been 4 or 5 “contested” amphibious assaults by the NA that I know of :
    (1) Obasanjo’s 3rd marine comando landings in port harcout during the civil war. Also numerous boat crossing attempts on the niger river in the assault on onitsha could be counted.
    (2) The ecomog landings in monrovia, was an amphibious assault planned from sierra leone.
    (3) The most recent capture of “rebel” bases in the niger delta was done by NA amphibious troops using the recently purchased landing crafts and some helicopter gunships.
    (4) NA landings in Atabong east or west (not sure) was an amphibious/marine assault in the bakassi peninsula. Press reports back then said some crafts were sunk on approach by the camerounian forces. However, NA recaptured one of the two atabongs. About 3000 of these amphibious troops were stationed there till Nigeria decided to abandon our bakassi brethren.
    Beeg, do you have any more details of any of these operations ?

    • beegeagle says:

      We actually have two full-strength amphibious brigades under 82 Division.

      The formations under 82 Division are

      82 Div HQ Garrison
      44 Division Engineers
      14 Infantry Brigade
      13 Amphibious Brigade
      2 Amphibious Brigade
      34 Field Arty Brigade

      We shall come back to this post later

  5. beegeagle says:


    I just walked in to see the early evening telecast of NTA News and the report which I fortuitously stumbled on as it was being played out had to do with the visit of the Chief of Naval Staff to Calabar.

    In the report, he inspected the six units of river gunboats which were delivered to the Eastern Naval Command. Those were a mix of two units of Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors and four units of a hitherto unheard of Mordant Marine gunboats. This clears up the haze about which gunboats were landed at Calabar early in November.

    All seven units which were delivered to Lagos in May(3 units) and October(4 units) were Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors intended for the Western Naval Command – 17 metre Manta Mk.II and larger 18 metre Manta Mk.III variants.

    What our trained spotting eyes saw in the video of the CNS’s visit to Calabar however suggests that those were Mk.II variants and they appeared to be armour-plated as well. Again and unlike the deliveries to the WNC which mostly came in white, the Manta and Mordant Marine boats supplied to the ENC were painted in our typical Nigerian gray colour(as is the case with the NNS Thunder).

    With these deliveries, the Nigerian Navy have received a total of NINE Manta boats in 2011….even as the only announcement of contracts for Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors made during the course of these past fifteen months was the October 2010 contract for four units of Manta Mk.IIIs valued at $36.4m.

    The Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Army Amphibious Forces operate what is by a country mile the largest fleet of littiral warfare platforms in Africa, comprised of between 350 and 400 boats.

    These include several dozens of 9-metre RBS Defender boats, 150+ units of 10-metre Scorpion Mk.II gunboats, 12 metre X38 Combat Catamarans, dozens of 12 metre Stingray OBM patrol boats, dozens of 16.5m Stingray(Otter)landing craft,a handful of 20 metre landing craft, rigid hull inflatable boats(RHIBs), 9 metre NC 27 Night Cat tactical insertion craft for Special Forces,Jedi boats and an assortment of several dozen non-descript but well-armed types typically donated by state governments as tokens of operational support. Included in this latter category are the Israeli-built boats(eleven units) armed with 12.7mm HMGs and 40mm AGLs which were acquired by the Akwa Ibom State Government and handed over to “Operation Aduma”, the state’s combined forces maritime security and anti-kidnapping outfit. The Mordant Marine gunboats mentioned as having been delivered to the ENC were similarly acquired as tokens of operational support by the Government of Cross River State.

    At the top of the pyramid stand 25-metre Shaldag Mk.IIs and 17m/18m Manta ASD Mk.II/Mk.III Littoral Interceptors.

    With these deliveries, the Nigerian Navy now operate a minimum of fifteen Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors, the workhorse of her anti-piracy operations. As of Sept 2009, the NN had taken delivery of a minimum of six Manta boats. A seventh boat was ordered in November 2009(alongside Super Puma helics). Subsequently, nine units have been delivered in 2011. The Mk.II variants cost about $8.8m while the Mk.IIIs cost $9.1m

    Kudos to the FG. Hopefully, they can now reach out for about eight units of Shaldag Mk.II FPICs. That way, the envisaged 1:2 ratio between Shaldag Mk.IIs and Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors is met swiftly.

    We are on course. Perfect the maintenance arrangements.

    * Stuff to watch out for in 2011

    – six refurbished units of large patrol boats coming from Holland, possibly in the 31-35metre category

    – two new OPVs which the CNS suggested would be built in Korea and China and for which funds were approved in 2011

    2012 promises to be incomparably fabulous from the perspective of naval acquisitions.

  6. beegeagle says:

    By the way, some of the other river gunboats which are operated by the Nigerian Navy include

    * Passport 19 boats
    * 15.8 metre Gulfcraft Majesty 50 boats
    * Mordant Marine gunboats

    Mordant Marine are a Port-Harcourt(Nigeria) based outfit.

  7. beegeagle says:

    Here is the detailed blog post on the MANTA ASD LITTORAL INTERCEPTORS

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