There are indications that the Nigerian Navy’s plans for the acquisition of Coastal Patrol Craft and Littoral Interceptors is beginning to take shape. Under its stipulated plan for naval acquisitions in 2012, the Nigerian Navy are lined up to receive two 110 metre, 2000 tonne Offshore Patrol Vessels, three 27 metre Shaldag Mk.III Fast Patrol Craft, three 24 metre Coastal Patrol Craft, six Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptors and four naval helicopters.
Even before the budget of the Federal Government of Nigeria was passed on March 15th, reports gleaned from a Jane’s Navy International subject-based alert published on March 26th, 2012 indicate that the French shipbuilding firm,OCEA which won the contract for the construction of three 24 metre Coastal Patrol Craft, put the first of the three patrol craft through sea trials on March 13th!
The text of the alert reads: “French shipbuilder OCEA commenced sea trials of the first of three 24 m coastal patrol craft (CPCs) for the Nigerian Navy
(NN) on 13 March ”
It thus becomes clear that while Israeli Shioyards shall be constructing the 27metre Shaldag Mk.III craft, OCEA of France are constructing the 24 metre vessels.
The Suncraft Group of Singapore which have previously handled contracts for the construction of over 225 river patrol boats, landing craft and littoral interceptors valued at several hundreds of millions of dollars, are expected to construct six units of Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptors for the Nigerian Navy.
The 17metre Manta Mk.II Littoral Interceptor was first inducted into Nigerian Navy service in 2008 during the time at the helm of Vice Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye. At the start of the Niger Delta amnesty in August 2009, they had acquired a total of four units of Manta interceptors. In 2011, a total of nine Manta ASD Interceptors entered Nigerian Navy service as follows: three units(delivered May 2011) and four units(delivered October 2011) all for the benefit of the Western Naval Command and painted in white colour while two units of Manta interceptors which are painted in hazegray were delivered to the Eastern Naval Command during the month of November.
It is expected that the delivery of this year’s batch of six Manta interceptors would take the total number of 17 metre Manta ASD Mk.II and 18 metre Manta Mk.III ASD Littoral Interceptors in Nigerian Navy service to twenty one.
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