Built by Blohm+Voss, makers of Nigeria’s MEKO 360 frigate, NNS Aradu F89, two of the eight-ship class have now been decommissioned (Koln and Rheinland-Pfaiz). The Aradu is probably 1.5 times more powerful but these ships, used to perfection in consonance with German precision, pack a major punch and feature a complete suite of naval artillery, CIWS, SAMs, AShMs and torpedoes, not to mention a flight deck.


HTMS Naresuan, a Chinese-built Type 53H2 frigate of the Royal Thai Navy seen here in Hong Kong.

The Chinese PLA Navy which categorically expressed their readiness to assist the Nigerian Navy with her fleet modernisation and expansion efforts in August 2012, are decommissioning a total of 53 units of Type 53H1/H2 variants of well-armed frigates. These can be acquired at bargain prices. Bangladesh and Burma have already cashed in on the boon to secure two units each of these frigates. What are Nigeria waiting for? The oceangoing fleet has not been depleted enough as things stand? The Chinese are themselves converting some of these ships to OPVs and transferring them to Coast Guard service as the PLA Navy take delivery of ultramodern Type 056 corvettes, Type 054 frigates and Type 052 destroyers.

Nigeria’s MoD need to put in their expressions of interest each way and keep handy the funds with which to pounce on these very sensible offers. There are countries such as Turkey, The Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh which are permanently on the lookout for and are vastly experienced in the art of poaching such attractive bargain acquisitions.

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. beegeagle says:

    Thanks for the headsup, Yagazie ref the Bremen class frigates.

  2. I saw a pic of Nigeria troops in Mali in a toyota 4wd truck the type adapted for desert terrain. Now i know the Nigerian army does not field that vehicle and i am starting to wonder if this was not the vehicle the NA spokes man was alluding to when announced that the army just purchased 35 desert terrain vehicles!

    • doziex says:

      Oga camouflage1984, I believe it’s been almost a year since I commented on this issue of desert suitable 4×4’s for border ops and possible deep strike ops into niger, chad or mali.
      ( The archives would attest to that fact)

      Oga beeg also raised the issue for discussion by presenting detailed pictures of the vehicle in question.

      So if it becomes true that the NA had to wait months into their deployment into mali to finally get 35 desertified pick up trucks, even though we have bought and assembled pick up trucks by the thousands in recent years.

      What does that say about our officer corps and our current crop of generals ??

  3. beegeagle says:

    Camouflage1984. The 4WDs which you saw in Mali CANNOT be the desertified combat vehicles which the NA mentioned BECAUSE, even as they are far less visible than Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi and Toyota Hilux types, the TOYOTA LANDCRUISER is not new to the NA inventory. They field them in Liberia, in Sudan and in our Lake Chad frontier for MJTF operations with Nigerien and Chadian troops.

    I have even posted photos of our troops in Darfur rolling in Toyota Landcruiser. I shall do so again today.

  4. beegeagle says:

    Yes, we do. I have already started to send out feelers for the name and photos of the vehicle and the uparmoured+upgunned Pinzgauer battle vehicles.

  5. Max Montero says:

    Beeg, the Germans already decommissioned 2 of the F122s…the Koln & the Rhineland-Pfalz. So far the only country I’ve heard having interest are the Thais, although their navy prefers new ships.

  6. beegeagle says:

    That is good to know, buddy :).

    So you Filipino guys stick to the decomm Italian Navy Artigliere and Soldati classes of frigates and corvettes while we try to stampede the lethargic Nigerian MoD into going for these ones from this end.

    How many of the Italian frigates and corvettes are you guys looking at? Are you sure that the Turks are not looking at these F122s? They might be looking to ease out their ex-US Knox class frigates(they own about six) and the USN have lately approved the sale/transfer of 2-4 Oliver Hazard Perry frigates to Turkey, Mexico, Thailand and methinks, Taiwan.

    Somehow, Egypt and Pakistan which got some Knox class frigates back in the day, did not feature on this fresh distribution list.

    • Max Montero says:

      Sadly, the deal for the Italian ships are off. Our navy found out he hard way (probably with ex-Hamilton) that it is very difficult and costly to maintain and operate a 40+ year old ship, and realized that it is the same for a 30-year old one. So we’re not expecting any ex-Italian or ex-US ship from now on, following this rule of thinking….

      …but there’s a catch….if we can’t have old ships for $140M each, then it means there’s no choice but to get new ones for twice the price….

      The Philippines is in the market for 2 brand-new light anti-submarine frigates, and 3 offshore patrol vessels.

      Candidates for the light frigate include the Italian Mosaic class by Orizzonte, an upsized French Gowind class by DCNS, the US-Australian Independence class LCS by Austal (they have a shipyard in the Philippines), a modified version of the Korean Incheon class by Hyundai, an upsized derivative of the US-Israeli Sa’ar 5 class, the frigate version of the National Security Cutter by Huntington Ingalls USA, and the Daewoo DW3000H from Korea. Surprisingly, the modified Incheon, the DW3000H and the upsized Sa’ar 5 are the leading choices, with the program expected to be awarded this year.

      Now why am I sad? Its because getting the Maestrales will also unlock the possibility of getting the Artigliere class frigates and Minerva class corvettes…and with the decision to forego the Maestrales, then we can also say goodbye to the Italian beauties…. 😦 so maybe Nigeria can take them….last time I heard, you buy 1 Maestrale or Artigliere, you get a free Minerva….


    • Max Montero says:

      Recent news say that the Americans did not approve the transfer of 2 Perry class frigates to the Turkish. I’m not sure if they are interested on the Bremen class. As for the Thais, the Americans approved the transfer for 2 Perry class, but this is subject if the Thais would like to take them in. So far the Thais has not responded yet as they are preparing to bid-out a requirement for 2 brand new frigates. Pakistan? The Americans are not giving them more Perry class frigates for now, they seem to be disappointed that they are now cutting aid to Pakistan.

  7. xnur44 says:

    ISN’T SHE LOVELY. Will surely solve our Frigate acquisition plans. NN open your eyes and grab this solution on a gold platter.

  8. beegeagle says:

    Indeed, Oga XNur. Time is of the essence. The “Rheinland-Pfaiz” was decommissioned three weeks ago and as is, the FG should just ask the NNPC to pay for these ships and deduct same from source when their next payments fall due.

    That way, the Rheinland-Pfaiz would might not even need any expensive overhaul. Train the crews and set set. When they arrive in Nigeria, we can give them a fresh coat of paint here. But God knows we need to pounce NOW.

    As for the Type 53H2, we only need to ask. China have about $10 bn worth of FG projects ongoing at this time. I am willing to bet TOP DOLLAR that, should the FG ask for the sale of two Type 53H2 frigates, they would get one thrown in for free.

    Ghana shall take delivery of two 62 metre OPVs in the 500-600 ton category in July 2013. On that deal, they already got a 36 metre PKM patrol craft “GNS Stephen Otu” in January 2011. Quid pro quo.

    Nigeria signed a US$155m contract for two stealth 1,800 ton stealth OPVs and could not even attempt to squeeze one Type 53H2 from China – a frigate which is SURE to arrive with its full panoply of formidable armaments, not least the feared C802 SSMs?

    Na wa o. E get as e be 😦

    • Max Montero says:

      The thing with the German ships is, would they come together with the Sea Sparrow, RAM and Harpoon launchers/missiles? The ships were recently upgraded to carry the TRS-3D radars, that’s why they were actually the favorites back in the Philippines. The thing with American wares is that you need to get approval from them first before the Germans can transfer them to you. If not, you may get the ship and arm them with your current standard systems.

      Bremen class are indeed beautiful ships…

  9. xnur44 says:

    The C-in-C continue to talk about re-engineering of the military, is he trying to build a Navy to protect tuna fish and chasing pirates on speed boats or building a modern fighting navy. When the current CNS was Chief of Naval ops, he went on talking circuits (Naval forum) about acquisitions and they listened; what has happened to that energetic posture now that he is the boss?

    • beegeagle says:

      I said so when the CNS was appointed. Was so pro-acquisition as CNO. He was the first person to state that for EEZ patrols alone, the NN need 20 OPVs. Not to talk of these nice fighting ships.

      The Oga needs to be the focal point of this hunt. His tenure could be judged by what he does with these windows of opportunity. Regardless of which new-build corvettes and frigates get acquired later, these would be fighting fit for fifteen years.

      So we have retired NNS Obuma, NNS Enyimiri, NNS Dorina and NNS Otobo – frigate and corvettes, since 2000. Are they not going to be replaced or there were no competing demands at the time when other FGs acquired them?

      Na wa o. What’s going on really?

  10. freeegulf says:

    NN should grab this beautiful ship. seeing that it has just recently been decommissioned one can bet top dollar that it is still in very good shape without the lost of capabilities. the Germans are not as condescending as the Americans in terms of defence acquisitions, they would not strip the warship of needed fighting capability.
    2 new Chinese OPVs and 3 ex PLA frigates would be a good start to china-Nigeria naval relations. please do not forget anti air defence systems for these ships, and the much capable C802 AshM

  11. gbash10 says:

    Great Patriots,if and only if the German government would agree to sale these Bremen class frigates to the NN without defanging them,hmmm…Nigeria would be operating one of the best type of frigate in the world.
    The Bremen class frigates are heavily armed and protected with state-of-art navtronics,these boats are operating 4 radar systems aboard them,worth noting is the EAD TRS-3D air search radar(3 Dimension radar) similar to the type on board the US Arleigh Burke Airwarfare Destroyer,British Type 45 Airwarfare Destroyer,and the Indian Navy’s Shivalik stealth class frigates.
    It was reported that these ships were built for antisubmarine warfare as their primary task,however,they are equipped with towed array sonars,and they can also be used for anti-aircraft as well asanti-surface warfare ships.
    Just that we have leaders who do not have National Pride in them at all,if we bloody civilians can reason Well, why cant the FG ?

  12. gbash10 says:

    Bros,i hail every body ooo, work no de allow me come area frequently.

  13. wocon45 says:

    @ gbash10, just take am easy….we dey kanpe!

  14. xnur44 says:

    Disregarding the usual MoD somersault, miracles can also happen in high places; it is up to the CNS to plead to C-in-C to make a phone call to Angela Merkel (they share a relationship of mutual respect) and we shall have that ship in our waters by september 2013.

  15. Yagazie says:

    At the moment we have no functioning major surface warship. NNS Thunder (with all due respect) is simply an upgunned OPV. We should therefore make serious efforts to get both of the decommisioned Bremen Class Frigates (both built by Bhlom and Voss- –_ who also built NNS Aradu) and have them refurbished alongside with NNS Aradu. That then gives us 3 frigates- – _ one for each operational command (Western, Central and Eastern).

    Now that it seems a sensible Perm Sec who has promised to listen to the millitary has assumed the helm of affairs at the MOD and the CDS has come out to state bluntly that the MOD should consult with the millitary before making purchases, now will be the time for the CNS to make a good case for purchasing these vessels. American equipment on board both vessels can be removed (if getting American aproval proves to be problematic) and replaced with German/Isreali equipment. We need to have a proper navy and not a Coast Guard navy operating coastal patrol craft and OPVs only.

    Beegz any word yet on the operational status of the Naval Air Station being built in Warri?

  16. Max Montero says:

    @Yagazie, is it easier for Nigeria to get used German frigates instead of used Chinese frigates? I believe that China can provide faster than the Germans…

  17. Yagazie says:

    Max, frankly I don’t really know the answer to your question.

    However my view is that as our Navy already operates a German built frigate (NNS Aradu – our flagship) it would not be too dificult to get our personell trained to operate the decommisioned German frigates. Our flagship was built around the same period as these decommisioned frigates.

    Furthermore the present Nigerian Government has a good relationship with the German Govt and as such this should facilitate negotiations for the purchase of the said frigates.

    The only possible stumbling block would be if the frigates contain American equipment that gives the Americans a say in the transfer negotiations but if this proves to be a sticking point, then the American equipment can be removed and replaced with similar equipment from Germany itself or Isreal.

    Its a question of whether the political will exists in the country to vigourosly pursue the purchase of these vessels. Money is not the problem.

    Make no mistake – OPVs are simply patrol vessels which are usually operated b the Coast Gaurds of bigger navies for fisheries protection, patroling of EEZs etc. Their combat capabilities are severly limited. OPVs in the inventory of the Nigerian Navy will not provide our navy with real ‘blue water’ capabilities – which is what our Navy needs.

    China could possibly provide the vessels that we need more quickly than the Germans – and that avenue should be actively explored. However it should not preclude us from giving serious consideration to the purchase of these decommisioned vessels.

    • Max Montero says:

      Yagazie, yes I’m familiar with the OPVs. Actually our countries are in the same market for naval ships, both our navies are in the same situation of lacking support, not enough assets, have procurement problems, and a lot of threats. Only thing different is how the government tackles the problem and who we are dealing as suppliers. You have good relations with China while For us China is the biggest threat. We also have a double faced neighbor that we need to check on but unfortunately have a better armed forces than ours.

      If you read my previous posts in Beegeagle’s blog, Im actually interested in comparing our government’s procurement. We both have Hamiltons, and AFAIK we are encountering problems on them re. operational readiness and maintenance. We are previously looking at getting a 3rd Hamilton and 2 ex-MMI Maestrale class frigates plus some other Italian ships but this did not push through after our navy decided that it would be better to spend more on new ships with new tech rather than buying 30 year old refurbished ships that tend to have more problems and will cost half to purchase and spend more to maintain. They found it best to spend annual allocations on cheaper maintenance and keeping the ships at high operating tempo rather than sit on docks more often and spend a lot for maintenance.

      Our navy reportedly was offered by the Germans for F122 ships, so were the Thais. But my country chose the Maestrale instead for its better anti sub capabilities, and a better deal package.

      You are right that the Americans may have some issues since the F122 class are using American sensors, weapons systems, gas turbine and other unseen parts and this might be a problem since the Americans are very pricky on letting allies sell their products to a 3rd party non ally like Nigeria. Thats why I pointed out to China. They can sell whatever you can afford or even give you loans or financing, and may even throw some giveaways like surplus ships or aircraft, and best of all theyre the cheapest you can find anywhere else in the world.

      Too bad they’re our possible future enemy.

  18. Max Montero says:

    @Beegeagle, I’m not familiar with Nigerian government’s procurement processes for military equipment, and if there are any impediments besides money on the purchase of any equipment, both new or used. Do you have a lengthy processes, when can deals be done via bidding or government-to-government, transparency issues, etc. or can your government speed up according to urgency?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s