7 May, 2013

Indicators reaching Beegeagle’s Blog through impeccable back channel communication suggest that an ‘unnamed West African navy’, almost certainly the Nigerian Navy, have been made an offer of yet another 3,250 ton United States Coast Guard Cutter, a sister ship of the USCGC Chase(now NNS Thunder F90).

Unlike the unsuccessful bid for the USCGC Jarvis, also a sister ship of the NNS Thunder for which a bid was put in by the Nigerian Navy in 2012 even as she ultimately went to the Bangladesh Navy, this potential transfer of the “Excess Defense Article” is an OFFER made by the United States rather than a BID put in by the Nigerian Navy.

The text of the said communication volunteered by a strategically positioned Beegeagle’s Blogger reads in part

“Our president’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014, which starts in October of calendar year 2013, includes the decommissioning of 2 ea 378 ft cutters. At least one of them will actually GET decommissioned (USCGC GALLATIN), after the budget process is completed, likely in March of 2014, and will likely be transferred to the West African country to which it was allocated last year. My understanding is that the offer has been made.”

The 115 metre 3250 ton ships of the Hamilton class, of which the NNS Thunder is one, have been severally upgraded during the course of their service lives and with a crossing range of 22,000 kilometres, the NNS Thunder is easily the naval ship with the greatest capacity for endurance at sea sailing in Africa today. The NNS Thunder was commissioned in Nigerian naval service on the 23rd day of January, 2012.

Earlier on in 2003, the US Coast Guard also transferred four oceangoing 1,041 ton logistics ships/patrol vessels to the Nigerian Navy. The said ships, one of which sailed to Brazil for the bicentennial of that country’s navy a few years ago in her capacity as escort vessel to Nigeria’s flagship NNS Aradu, are also remarkable for their endurance at sea with a crossing range of 15,000km.

The said Cat class ships have seen consistent action in anti-piracy patrols in Nigeria and Benin Republic and have also participated in multinational sea exercises(EXERCISE OBANGAME) in Cameroon.

It would be recalled that whilst transferring the USCGC Chase to the Nigerian Navy in March 2011, President Obama promised to follow up the gesture with the transfer of a second ship in the near future.

Unless the Nigerian Navy turn down the offer, something which is most unlikely given the acute dearth of oceangoing platforms facing the service, it is almost certain that the second Hamilton-class ship coming to the Nigerian Navy would be the USCGC Gallatin.

Watch this space then, gentlemen.



About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. Oga beeg anything yet on the Alpha jet dat that crashed…i heard the news yesterday on NTA. Initially i tot it was the “Chink 7” but i was saddened that it was the Alpha more importantly that the Alpha have almost been free from fatal accidents (wondered wat must have gone wrong). More sadning is the fact that one of the pilot was a very young and promising chap (dont want to mention his name, i got the info from his collegues this morning). RIP

  2. Henry says:

    Please send it to oga beeg, so that he can post it.

  3. Max Montero says:

    Beeg, hoping that the news is indeed confirmed. It is actually expected that the US will offer the ships to either the Nigeria & the Philippines, but the recent turn-down by the Philippines on USCGC Jarvis might be a sign that the Philippines is no longer interested in getting more Hamiltons. Reportedly Bangladesh only got the slot when the Philippine Navy inspection team rejected the Jarvis.

    I do hope that your navy’s inspection teams will take a better look at the Gallatin, it was reported that she underwent a major engineering work in 2008, and was razed by a fire in 2009.

    Max (

  4. giles says:

    may de soul of dos pilots rest in peace,at least as a honour to dey let d airforce push for new fighter plane most expectly 4++ generation,we hav d money so y waste life,talent,resource on old craft

  5. Henry says:

    Link to photos of the pilots killed in the air crash.


    • Deway says:

      Very sad. Hope they find the cause. Its not good news for the NAF that their jets are dropping from the air in non combat activities.

  6. I hope this ship is not disbowelled before she is handed to us. Its a good one though. When is the transfer to take place? The NN is gradually getting back its shape. Cant wait for the OPV’s to come on board.

    As for the pilot…May his sould RIP…Have friends who are his colleague in Aca….All say he was a good pilot…..NAF needs to find out what went wrong…and fix it

  7. xnur44 says:

    Am tongue tied, we’ve just lost our Belarussian trained pilots we commissioned.

  8. jimmy says:

    This is very good news it is extremely important that real time emphasis is put to use in acquiring this ship come Q1 2014 .The incidence of piracy are not only flaring, but we are getting the after effects of amnesty gone amok with flare ups between EX MILITANTS, more worrying is the incidence of piracy occurring +50-100 miles of the coast of NIGERIA or closer to countries like Ghana and Togo that have virtually non- existent Navies.
    Nigeria and America will be wise to continue along this serious relationship this as I have repeatedly said has to be mutually beneficially (symbiotic) to both parties to generate respect . Despite the hiccups and occasional flare ups . As discussed as recently as yesterday the volume of trade involving Nigeria and the U.S CONTINUES TO INCREASE RAPIDLY even discounting the OIL .Nigeria is the U,S.. No1 trading partner when it comes to the importation of wheat according to the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S.Trade stands at between $30 and $40 billion a year. This relationship has to work to the interests of both parties concerned.

  9. asorockweb says:

    Nigeria does NOT spend $40 billion on wheat imports.
    The real figure should be closer to $4 billion.

    • jimmy says:

      OGA ASOROCK much respects for your comments.. You misinterpreted my comments
      1) Nigeria is the U.S. LARGEST importer / trade partner of WHEAT #1
      2) The total trade volume as captured between BOTH nations FOR THE FY 2011- 2012 stands between $30- $40B. this includes OIL, GAS, vehicles, technology, Financial sector (i.e banking and remittance) ,agriculture ( both ways), and other items . I specifically did not mention that Nigeria imported $40b worth of wheat .I am talking about the Estimated total trade vale for one FY (2011-2012)

      • asorockweb says:

        I mis-read the punctuation.
        “… U.S.Trade …” seemed to be one word refering to the preceeding wheat phrase.
        What you meant was “… US, trade …”

  10. Yagazie says:

    If another Hamilton Class OPV is comming to the Nigerian Navy- that will be very good news. Even if she is ‘disembowelled’, nothing stops us from fitting the relevant equipment (hopefully at our Naval Dockyard in Lagos) on her once she becomes ours. She is to function as an OPV. If we can get one more (yes I am being an oliver twist), then it would mean that each sea-going command has a Hamilton Class Vessel.

    I also state again that the NN should give serious consideration to purchasing the 2 recently decommisioned Bremen Class F-22 Frigates of the German Navy. They were built around the same time as the NNS Aradu by the same ship builder Blohmn and Voss (?).

    Being German vessels and knowing their penchant for efficiency, you can rest assured that they will be in good condition. They can be refurbished/upgraded alongside with NNS Aradu and one distributed to each sea-going Naval Command, with NNS Aradu remaining our Naval Flagship.

    Thus in the interim the gap in our blue-water warfare capability would have been plugged and the ships can serve pending the time the FG/MoD and Navy get serious about purchasing brand new frigates/corvettes (and not OPVs).

    • jimmy says:

      I am truly hoping someone would send your comments both to the German Navy and the Nigerian Navy.

  11. beegeagle says:

    President Jonathan is in South Africa on a state visit where a record number of memoranda and protocols under the Nigeria-SA Binational Commission has been signed.

    Of interest to me, as a more violent phase of the insurgency at home beckons, is the protocol signed by the female Ministers of Defence of both countries.

    Let us hope that we relieve ourselves of tepid responses and acquire a few hundred factory-refurbished Casspir APCs ready to roll and perhaps a hundred GILA MRAPs. Everyday, it becomes increasingly clearer that the NA need then for CTCOIN operations as they have manifested.

    • jimmy says:

      Give us the info on the defence protocol .
      What is also now apparent is that GEJ in conjunction with the Minister of state of Defence Erelu OBADA now effectively run the M.O.D. since nominee from Kebbi STATE was reassigned as a Minister for special duties and we have yet to see him at any defence related events

    • Max Montero says:

      Beegeagle, I received some info that South Africa is capable of producing a Valour class ship for export (I’m surprised because SA got theirs from Germany, and all were produced in Germany), and can make some adjustments depending on the client. Don’t you think Nigeria can take a look if they can make a good offer for the NN?

      Max (

  12. G8T Nigeria says:

    The FG is gradualy achieving a naval build up leading to 2015 but we need rugged varsatile platforms to bring Nigeria on the table. Presently-
    1. PIPAVAV ships- 4
    2. Chinese stealth made OPV-2
    4. A second halmiton class ship
    5. Refit of NNS ARADU in Dubai
    6. Refit of Mine clearance vessels-2
    GEJ U too much but habba, sign for 2 German built destroyers. Let us have the feel we had with ARADU being the most rugged ship during her early years.

    • jimmy says:

      OGA GT8
      Much RESPECT FOR YOUR COMMENTS .Please can you expand on#5. this is the first time I am reading about a refit for the ARADU and why in DUBAI? of all places? PLEASE I BEG MAKE YOU TELL US SONTHING O!

      • G8T Nigeria says:

        The proposal to refit ARADU in Germany remains a hard task especially wen most of her systems are down. Considering the need to sail or tow her, News had it that the manufacturers had suggested a dock in dubai where modern facilities are at close reach. I only hope its done in time. We. Dey pray

  13. ifiok umoeka says:

    While we should consider the offer, we should ask why the Filipinos declined. Study their reasons and see if we can get around them. Long term, we must invest in new platform, expensive? Try not investing!

    • Max Montero says:

      Actually the Philippine Navy rejected the Jarvis, not the Gallatin. Our navy did not send inspectors for the Gallatin, so we do not know its exact condition. Although there are no formal channels indicating the rejection of Jarvis, leaked info from sources indicate the ship to be in condition that needs dock work and will cost a lot to do and consume time. This specific ship is going to Bangladesh, so I don’t know how the Bangladesh Navy made their own assessment. Philippine forums discussed about Gallatin before, and the most worry was the fire incident in 2009 while it is having major engineering work at drydocks.

      Max (

  14. (@lordfej) says:

    Le Gen abeg is it true aradu is being refitted?

  15. igbi says:

    For God’s sake by 20 new ones, rather than taking every ship other nations deem unfit for their own use. Howfar fast is our own dockyard advancing

  16. Max, the fire aboard GALLATIN in the dockyard was a pretty minor affair. Welding from the outside, with improper firewatch on the inside. One compartment got pretty smoked, some wiring burnt up.

    The cutter got a LOT of steel replaced, a whole new galley, etc, $10 million worth of work. The contract is available on line for those willing to search.

    JARVIS transfers to Bangladesh the 23rd of this month. Will probably leave for Chittagong in early October.

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