HMAS Gladstone – decommissioned in 2007, spotted in this sparkling form as of 2010.


Gentlemen, since we never tire to posit in the national interest and with a keen eye on both observed and stated requirements alike, let me show you some platforms which might turn out to be the bargain acquisitions of the decade for the Nigerian Navy – with the twin objectives that are the force multiplier effect entailed and continuous presence at sea at minimal cost, at the back of one’s mind.

The Royal Australian Navy decommissioned a flotilla of fifteen units of 41 metre 220 ton Freemantle coastal patrol craft a few years ago.

Propulsion: 2 MTU series 538 die engines(2,400 kW), 2 propellers

Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h 35 mph)

5,000 nautical mile (9,300 km; 5,800 mi)

Complement: 22

– One general purpose 40/60 mm Bofors
– Two 12.7 mm machine guns
– One 81 mm mortar

Personally, one is more interested in the eight units which were constructed in 1983 and 1984 (see the HMAS Gladstone above, for an example). The Fremantle ships boast an astonishing range of 9,300km which has to be the best that any ship that size can manage. You know what that does for our capacity to maintain a constant presence at sea in the intermediate 0-50km radius of our shores, working alongside the Sea Eagle OPCs.

It is my BELIEF that for as little as US$20 million, we can acquire eight units of the long-range Fremantle class patrol craft, cannibalise two for spares and refurbish six units of the Freemantle class in-country for a total of US$15 million at the Naval Dockyard, West Atlantic Shipyards and Continental Shipyards and put them to work for a decade by which time they would have justified the investment.

They would give us a constant presence at sea and each one of them can EITHER be spread out to serve as leadship in each of the six coastal FOBs, so that OPVs (and hopefully incoming corvettes and frigates) can be launched from the major naval bases at Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt, Ikot Abasi and Calabar OR the suggested Freemantle ships should be deployed as deemed fit by the FOCs.

Again, upriver naval stations should be consolidated at Lokoja, Makurdi and Atani while construction on the Oguta station should commence.


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. Yagazie says:

    Beegz on Point!!

    As I said in an earlier post on this blog, our Naval Brass Hats who I believe will be attending the International Fleet Review in Sydney Australi(a in which our own NNS Thunder will be participating) later this year, should use the opportunity provided by their presence at this event to check these Freemantle Class Boats out and purchase same. WE SHOULD NOT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY PASS US BY. Ditto the two recently decommissioned type 122 German Frigates.

    According to a recently (i.e. yesterday 30/07/13) released NEITI report, Nigeria has in the last 2 years lost $10.7 billion to oil theft, oil smuggling/pipeline vandalism. The Govt gives pipe protection /monitoring contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to ex- millitant warlords and yet the theft still goes on almost unabated. Think of of the Naval Assets that could have been purchased with just 10% of this amount of money quoted that has been lost to oil theft.

    • beegeagle says:

      We need the Fremantle class – BADLY! When we have six of those ships afloat, we can acquire six more Shaldag FPCs in 2014. Add to those the incoming Made-in-Nigeria 31 metre sister ship of the NNS Andoni and 32 metre OCEA FPB 98 Mk.II CPC expected in Q4 2013.

      Also, we would have, in addition to the operable (four sailing out of nine recoverable assets in this class) 31-32m British/German/Nigerian-made patrol craft

      – two 38 metre Sea Eagle OPCs
      – eight OCEA FPB 72 Mk.II /Shaldag patrol craft
      – 21 units of 17m Manta Interceptors

      significantly rounded off our coastal patrol fleet. Not to forget six recoverable units of P2000+Swiftships patrol craft.

      Thereafter, we can move on to the procurement of stealth OPVs, corvettes and frigates, new and used alike, as itemised in the Navy’s 10-Year Strategic Acquisition Plan

    • igbi says:

      Giving security contracts to criminals might be a part of the problem.

      • igbi says:

        I am referring to the MEND militants.
        What kind of brainless person gave them such a contract ?

  2. makanaky says:

    @igbi our politicians are morons looking for the easiest way out, never face the nation problems head-on.

  3. G8T Nigeria says:

    Oga igbi u harsh o. That line of action is good. Sometimes you pay the thief to prevent a thief ,but in this case, it has politically favoured the wrong people.

    • tim says:

      That line of work is not good, let them go and get jobs, they just made murderers easy milionnaires if not billionnaires, when happens when another persident comes , and stops giving them contract and money, back to sqr 1? The idiots should give security of churches to boko haram then,,,,,,nitwit politicians

  4. giles says:

    no i c notin wrong wit dat dere course ar 2 different reason 1 is fair share in it’s resource and the other is a total new country wit sharia as it’s law

    • igbi says:

      every criminal has his grievances. What I am advocating for is that they all get the same treatment: prison or execution.
      If I were president, all MEND militants would have been executed.
      I would have bombed boko haram and its neighbourhood to ashes, secure our borders, rearm our airforce and our navy, reduce pipline zones and declare them military zones giving the military and the police the right to shoot at sight if any body is caught inside.
      All this is simple deduction, but our politicians will never do things like this.
      This boko haram amnesty is meant to not let the military have total victory against the terrorists, because the politicians are afraid of the military becomming too popular.
      Mark my words, even if the military gets rid of boko haram entirely, our politicians will prop up people to get amnesty money.

    • igbi says:

      I don’t really care about their causes being different, they are both criminals.
      When someone choses to carry weapon against our country and to kill our policemen and soldiers, I don’t listen to that person anymore. MEND and boko haram should be hanged.

  5. Max Montero says:

    HI General Beeg! Regarding the Fremantle class, as far as I know most of the ships are really in not-so-good shape. There were several requests from other countries as early as 2005 to take some of the boats, but Australia declined. If the boats were in good shape, Australia might have donated it already to Pacific island countries. Even Indonesia was strongly convinced by Australia not to push for the boats. There were also some interest from the Philippines before but it never took off for unknown reasons, probably the same reasons as above. So far the Australians are already contemplating of replacing their Armidale-class patrol boats soon, while the Singaporeans are also on the way to replace their Fearless-class patrol vessels as well.

    Speaking of nice used assets, look what the Philippine Coast Guard just found, they are securing a deal to get a L’Audacieuse-class (P400) patrol vessel, specifically the FS La Tapageuse (P691) from the French Navy for 6 million euros for the entire deal including the refurbishing. This might probably be the first unit of a possible multiple buy, I believe they still have 4 active units and possibly some of the decommissioned units still up for grabs. See more here:


  6. beegeagle says:

    Brother Max, good to see you again. Coming back at you in a bit. Watch this space.

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