NIGERIAN NAVY CAPITAL ASSET GAINS : THE 2012-2013 EPOCH

NEW-BUILD SHIPS

A computer-generated image of Nigeria’s incoming 1,800 ton P18N stealth Offshore Patrol Vessels. These are enlarged Type 056 platforms featuring flight decks and aircraft hangars, unlike the 1,440 ton Type 056 corvettes which only feature flight decks.Two of such new-build P18N OPVs will be delivered to the Nigerian Navy in the months ahead, with the first possibly arriving sometime between April and May 2014.

PHOTO CREDIT: CSOC

PHOTO CREDIT: BERNARD PREZELIN

A new-build 32 metre OCEA FPB 98 Mk.II Coastal Patrol Craft intended for delivery to the Nigerian Navy. Two units of this ship are on order for the Nigerian Navy. These would probably complement the in-service, Made-in-Nigeria NNS Andoni, a 31 metre vessel.

NNS Andoni P100, crafted with pride in Nigeria by the Nigerian Navy

(PHOTO CREDIT: NIGERIAN NAVY)

The Nigerian Navy are also now constructing an even larger 38 metre patrol craft. Bearing in mind the in-service pair of 38 metre Sea Eagle Offshore Patrol Craft and the formation of a third fleet command (Central Naval Command) in 2012, the Made-in-Nigeria 38 m craft under construction is almost certainly intended to ensure that ships of this size category are evenly spread out to all three fleet commands.

Earlier on in February 2013, the NN commissioned three units of 24metre OCEA FPB 72 Mk.II patrol craft into service. At the time, the Nigerian Navy also acquired two more units of 25 metre Shaldag FPCs, to add to two Shaldag units commissioned in 2009. An additional unit of Shaldag FPC, the fifth unit overall, is also expected to be delivered to the Nigerian Navy anytime soon, a carried over delivery from a 2012 order.

P176,another OCEA 24 metre patrol craft constructed for the Nigerian Navy

P176,another OCEA 24 metre patrol craft constructed for the Nigerian Navy

Some Shaldag Mk.II Fast Patrol Craft of the Nigerian Navy, commissioned into service in Feb 2013

Some Shaldag Mk.II Fast Patrol Craft of the Nigerian Navy, commissioned into service in Feb 2013

USED SHIPS ALSO DESTINED FOR NIGERIAN NAVAL SERVICE

http://www.beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/nigerian-navy-to-receive-two-ex-united-states-coast-guard-navy-ships-in-2014-usns-john-mcdonnell-and-uscgc-gallatin-netted-cns-nigerian-navy-announce-programme-of-events-for-57th-annivers/

In May 2013, Nigeria’s Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral DJ Ezeoba announced the imminent transfer of the following US Coast Guard and US Navy ships to the
Nigerian Navy

The USCGC Gallatin is a 115 metre 3,250 ton Hamilton-class ship. She is a sister ship to the NNS Thunder F90 which was transferred to the Nigerian Navy on May 13, 2011 and entered Nigerian service on January 23, 2012.

The USNS John McDonnell is a 64 metre 2,054 ton oceanographic survey ship

RELATED:

http://www.janes.com/article/28865/details-of-nigerian-naval-shipbuilding-plans-revealed

About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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39 Responses to NIGERIAN NAVY CAPITAL ASSET GAINS : THE 2012-2013 EPOCH

  1. OriginalPato says:

    Hmmm Oga Beeg, you think you can just sneak in like that? Anyway sha welcome back. :))

  2. rka says:

    On closer inspection of the article, it may well be the 17m Manta MkII ASD because of the earlier deliveries of boats last December.

  3. beegeagle says:

    The timing and imminence of the conclusion of upgrades on the long laid-up Lynx Mk.89 MR/SR naval combat helicopters of Nigerian Navy Air Arm, which can be armed with anti-ship missiles and/or torpedoes, and the absence of same on the incoming stealth OPVs, suggests that they are likely going to be embarked on the P18N stealth OPVs…with one unit possibly going to the NNS Aradu as has been the case traditionally.

    Perhaps one good habit which the NAF and NN have developed over time is to keep inoperable, low-mileage airframes in proper storage. That is why the NAF were able to put back to service, two units of Super Puma in 2012 after they had been crated for 15 years. Indeed, NAF 565 and NAF 567 have been upgraded by Eurocopter Romania and are serving diligently at this time. Two other similarly stored units are in line for upgradation at the same facility. Something similar sufficed for Aermacchi MB 339s and C130/C130-H30 heavy airlift planes, someof which have barely logged up 5,000-7,000 flight hours since they were acquired in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Concerning the Lynx helics, having been used sparingly used, any upgrades at this time would see them returning to service, 75+% new. Way to go then.

    HEADSUP: ATR 42-500 MPA SURVEYOR NOW ELINT-COMPLIANT

    Thanks to a strategically-positioned Beegeagle’s Blogger, I have seen photos dated 3 November 2013 of NAF 931, an Alenia ATR 42-500 MPA Surveyor plane. Remember the Alenia which we posted photos of whilst the airframe was parked at some airfield in Scotland earlier on in the year?

    Well the gist is that the airframe has been put through upgradation and is now fully ELINT-compliant. When it is expedient to do so, we shall show you photographic evidence to that effect.

    The said photo shows the ATR 42-500 MPA surveillance plane before and after the ELINT upgrade. It shows a dome on the fuselage just behind the wings, post-upgradation.

  4. beegeagle says:

    CNS INSPECTS CONSTRUCTION WORK ON MADE-IN-NIGERIA 38 METRE PATROL SHIP;NIGERIAN NAVY TO EXPORT WARSHIPS TO AFRICAN COUNTRIES

    (excerpts)

    Lagos, Nov. 20, 2013 (NAN)

    The Nigerian Navy says it is building commercial warships for export within the African countries. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba, said this on Tuesday when he inspected the second indigenous patrol ship under construction at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos.

    Ezeoba expressed confidence that the
    Nigerian Navy was skilled enough to
    build patrol ships between 10 and 38
    metres in size for export. “The Nigerian Navy will no longer buy a ship of between 10 and 12 metres in size,
    because we have the capacity and
    capability to build them in our dockyard,’’ he said.

    According to him, the ship under
    construction is in the same class with
    first indigenous 31 metres patrol ship,
    NNS Andoni, but was redesigned and
    upgraded to 38 metres.

    Ezeoba said that the ship building
    business would not only attract economic value but create job for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in the maritime sector and beyond.

    He assured that the second indigenous
    ship would be delivered to Nigerian Navy by the dockyard for its inauguration into the fleet latest by June 2014.

  5. Yagazie says:

    Oga Beegz,

    Welcome back. You were sorely missed. Enough said.

  6. Yagazie says:

    Gentlemeen,

    I think another ‘capital asset’ worth mentioning is the upgrade of the Nigerian Navy ship yard at portharcourt by the chinese company buiding the P18N OPVs – to eventually repair/build ships of up to 5,000 tonnes initially and then 10,000 tonnes eventually. About 50-70% of the second P18N OPV will done at this upgraded ship-yard.

    This in my view is the most important ‘asset’ to be acquired by the Nigerian Navy as it means that we can now repair/maintain our vessels in-country, thus providing employment, gaining valuable naval ship experience /technology transfer and enhancing the Navy’s capacity to maintain a credible continous at sea presence/deterence. In my opinion, any future purchase of large ocean going warships by the Navy must be predicated upon a subtantail percentage such ships being built – in-country.

    I am also pleased to note that the CNS has categorically stated that the NN will no longer buy boats of b/w 10-12metres in size as such ships can now be built in-country. That is the way to go.

  7. Deltaman says:

    General Beeg, welcome back!!! we all missed you

    • rka says:

      http://www.channelstv.com/home/2013/11/21/terrorism-nigerian-army-air-force-train-special-forces/

      Gen Beeg, don’t know whether you have seen this article about personnel from the different services being trained together as special forces operators (ignore photo of Niger’s army).

      • beegeagle says:

        Oga RKA, well that is a new development. Could it be a joint recurrency training programme? I say this because my 2012 trip to the camp of the Navy Special Forces showed that the Basic Operational Capability Course lasts for 24 weeks (6 months).

        As for joint training, the SF angle to the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast is fully triservice. There are Army, Navy and Air Force SF commandos fighting alongside 7 Infantry Division. Again, when I visited the SBS commandos, their Chief Instructor showed me one of his boys who was ‘excused duty’ on medical grounds. He was nursing a battle scar sustained in the fighting in Borno. That was mid-year 2012.

        It is instructive to note that earlier this year, there was a first-ever joint P-O-P of army recruits and naval ratings at the Depot NA, Zaria. It suggests that in view of the ongoing insurgency, the NN wanted to have ratings who are more keenly drilled in pure infantry tactics so as to better complement the NA in CTCOIN operations.

        Moving on, the NA are right now training a record 9,000 recruits in one hop. Unlike the usual twice yearly intake of about 3,600 recruits respectively and each of those intakes being trained for 6 months at the Depot NA, these 9,000 recruits shall be trained intensively for 4 months in tactics and fieldcraft at Zaria and thereafter, they would immediately under 2 months of CTCOIN drills. So in all, they would still get the same 6 months of ab initio training but this time, with one-third of their exertion being centred on CTCOIN.

        It suggests that these 9,000 recruits shall in the main be heading to the Northeast to bring the new 7 Infantry Division up to full strength. When the 7 Division was formed in August 2013 and an initial complement of 8,000 troops deployed to that AOR, it was clear that they were going to be COIN specialists. With 9,000 COIN-biased rookie soldiers in training, it is clear that by or before the end of Q1 2014, 7 Division shall be up to full strength…not to mention the combat support units (Engrs, EME, Signals, ST, Intel, MP, Ordnance, MEDE etc)which are about now settling into that AOR.

        In closing, whilst I was off this board, the formation of two new infantry brigades for the new 7 Division came to my notice and these are formations which did not exist in the NA Orbat before the third quadrant (‘EMBER months’) of 2013. These are

        5 Brigade
        12 Brigade

        Some battalions which bear rather unfamiliar designations have also emerged. Unlike the premier 72 Special Forces Bn, we now have some “Special Operations Bns” fighting in the Northeast. One of those, 3 Div Special Operations Bn, is active in Yobe State while another Special Operations Bn is active in the rugged Gwoza Hills-Mandara Mts continuum which straddles the south of Borno and north of Adamawa.

        The question to be asked is this : does the distinction between SPECIAL FORCES BN and SPECIAL OPERATIONS BN indicate that the former are full-spectrum, pure SF operators while the latter are made up of mostly COIN-biased troops trained in basic CTCOIN for 2 months and then deployed to the frontlines to gain combat experience and to work in tandem with jointly deployed a few platoons of core SF commandos…perhaps in combinations which have one section of core SF commandos mentoring, embedded with and fighting alongside a platoon of COIN-biased and combat-proven troops?

  8. Delavegas says:

    US plans to upgrade to Laser Weapons Systems on it’s fighters.
    http://rt.com/usa/air-force-laser-request-115/

  9. doziex says:

    Yeah beeg, I think NA special forces are patterned after the US ranger regiment.

    While the ranger regiment, is made up of 3 ranger battalions, the ranger course is attended by troops from other army units who upon completing the course return to their units, with a special ranger badge.

    However, their skill sets seem to be redundant , when you consider other US spec ops units. Like the airborne, the green berets,(aka special forces regiments) etc etc.

    • rka says:

      Thanks for the refresher Gen Beeg. You are probably right about COIN based troops being Special Operations troops and other more specialised troops being in Special Forces units.
      This would seem to apply in this case because after 4 months of training, the Air Force troops graduated from the COIN course while the Army troops graduated from the Special Warfare Course. Of course the Army chaps could well still be posted to Special Operations Bns and not necessarily be in specific Special Forces units if you get my drift.

  10. jimmy says:

    OGA BEEGS.
    This is my suspicion about the distinction between “SPECIAL FORCES BN and SPECIAL OPERATIONS BN ” One like oga Doziex said though special forces based it is likely to have a a rangers bent to it. The other while also SF is likely to have a mountainous BENT do you recall those pictures of those troops training in Yola? about two years ago I think this is going to now be THEIR BATTALION( MOUNTAIN BATTALION) something similar to the US 10th Calvary.
    Again these are my humble two Kobos.

  11. beegeagle says:

    ELSEWHERE, BEEGEAGLE WROTE (30-8-2013)

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/some-israeli-built-shaldag-mk-ii-fast-patrol-craft-of-the-nigerian-navy-world-exclusive-screengrab/

    At the moment, Mighty Yagz, there are 4 units of 25 metre Shaldag FPCs, with one unit from the 2012 order slated for delivery later this year. So let’s say five. There are also three units of similar-sized OCEA FPB 72 MK.IIs which have been photographed together at a FOB in the Niger Delta. That makes eight of those 24m/25m patrol craft – 75% of those delivered in 2013. There are six coastal FOBs, and if they so desire, the NN can deploy one unit to each of the FOBs.

    There are also a minimum of eight units of 20 metre Raidco Marine, P2000 Watercraft and Swiftships patrol craft. I do not know about their precise states of operational readiness.

    But there are indications to suggest that even bigger vessels have operated from some of the FOBs. For instance, NNS Zaria, a Sea Eagle Mk.II Offshore Patrol Craft was launched from FOB Bonny last year and it seized a Belgian-flagged oil tanker which had been spotted by the coastal radar array, going back and forth between the coast and the high seas around Akassa, as she engaged in dubious business.

    The NN also own a total of eight 31 metre/32 metre Coastal Patrol Craft, acquired in the 1970s, at least three of which have been spotted on TV and pictured in operations on this blog since 2012 – NNS Yola, Argungu and Makurdi. Added to those is the 31 metre Made-in-Nigeria NNS Andoni, which was involved in sensational counterpiracy operations this month, even as it remains to be seen if she sailed from a coastal FOB or a major naval base in the Niger Delta. Last year, she was mostly engaged in anti-piracy patrols off the Lagos waters. That is documented on this blog. So she is probably now homeported elsewhere in the CENTCOM or EASTCOM AORs.

    The NN shall take delivery of a second Made-in-Nigeria 31m vessel and a new 32 metre FPB 98 Mk.II vessel from OCEA of France within the next six months max. In addition, anywhere between four and five 35 metre Sentinel FPVs are believed to be on order.

    With a potential upward deployable limit (by end 2014) of eleven units of 31m-33m ships, seven units of 35-38m ships, sixteen 20-25m ships and six FOBs, the NN shall from that pool of over 30 small ships, in a bit be able to decide whether to make 35-38 metre platforms, 31-33m platforms or 20-25m platforms, the leadships at the coastal FOBs and would be able to actually toy with the idea of having one unit of each of these aforementioned vessel categories deployed at the said FOBs. They only need to maintain 90% serviceability on the 35-38m class and 70% serviceability on the 20-25m and 31-33m categories to achieve this array. Then, they can also deploy two units each of the 21 units of 17 metre Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptors to the six FOBs.

    FOBs well resourced, the remaining units can then be deployed to major bases for the purpose of serving as escort vessels to big oceangoing ships and as allied patrol platforms.

    For the major bases, we need to do something decisive about the six 400 ton 58 metre missile vessels. Since there are three Lurssen and three Combattante III types, we should think of cannibalising one each to keep two sister ships afloat. That would mean having two Lurssen and two Combattante III vessels but the advantage would be full, all year round serviceability.

    The fact that two units of long laid-up and comparatively fresh 700 ton MCMVs are being reconfigured as midshore patrol vessels should give us the courage to act on the 58 metre Lurssen/Combattante ships. If we can get another ten years of service off them, that would be fine.All of these would be deployed to the major bases and fleet command HQs.

    In closing, I have seen the Sa’ar 72 and we have discussed this with Admiral Max Montero. My clear preference is that we ENSURE that ALL OPVs and corvettes are over 1,500 tons large. Deep sea operations in view. An 800 ton Sa’ar 72 corvette is adequate for Israel’s compact territorial waters. For our needs, an 800-tonner would soon enough necessitate the quest for larger replacement ships. Given our tardy approach to big vessel acquisition, I would humbly suggest that the Sa’ar corvette, beautiful as she is, would ultimately be found wanting – unable to undertake intercontinental voyages on flag showing trips or comfortably intercept pirates hundreds of miles in international waters offshore the Gulf of Guinea.

    The absolute bottomline which we must not go below, with interoperability, good seakeeping and panoply of armaments carried as key determinants, are

    – used units of the 1,300 ton Pohang class corvettes..Korean-made

    – new units of 1,440 ton Type 056 corvette.

  12. beegeagle says:

    MATTERS ARISING

    Thanks, RKA, for this link

    http://www.navy.mil.ng/press/33.news#.UpC5hb5FCFR

    There goes another reason why Beegeagle’s Blog remains impeccable as far as credibility goes.

    Many months ago (early in 2013), it was G8T Nigeria who let us in on the fact that there were plans to refurbish the NNS Aradu at an offshore facility of some Western concern in the UAE. He went further to state that the 700 ton Mine Countermeasure Vessels, NNS Barama and NNS Ohue, which were delivered to the Nigerian Navy in 1988 but which have been so sparingly used that they could pass for being 80+% new, were being reconfigured as midshore patrol vessels with a view towards boosting the presence at sea of the NN. Well, there goes confirmation, six months later, by the CNS himself.

    Well, the NN had a total of six FOBs (created since 2003) in addition to the major naval bases at Lagos, Warri, PHC, Onne, Oghara, Calabar and inland bases at Lokoja and Makurdi. Now, they are getting five more coastal FOBs.

    Existing FOBs
    Badagry
    Igbokoda
    Escravos
    Formoso
    Bonny
    Ibaka

    New FOBs

    FOB Tarkwa Bay
    FOB Forcados
    FOB Qua Iboe
    FOB JamesTown
    FOB Brass

    We have also stated copiously, the fact that the NN are building a new naval air station at Effurun in the Warri metropolitan area and that another one is planned for Calabar thereafter.

    In the post immediately above this one, we wrote about a total of eight 31 metre Abeking+Rasmussen and 33m Brooke Marine ships dating back to the 1970s era which have probably spent more than half of their service lives in storage and are physically, not as well-worn as their vintage suggests. Well refurbished and upgraded, they could be put to use from the FOBs for another ten years.

    NNS Yola (P166, commissioned 1973) and NNS Brass (P169, commissioned 1976), both undergoing rehab., are 31 metre German-built Abeking+Rasmussen ships.

    The NN also own six French-made Combattante III and Luerssen FPB 57 ships which arrived missile-armed in the 1980s and which all saw extensive action during the ten year-long ECOMOG expedition in Liberia and Sierra Leone where they enforced naval blockades, engaged in shore bombardment and attacked ships bearing cargo for enemy forces. This flotilla of six 58 metre ships should be able to serve as midshore patrol vessels if stripped of their now-doubtful missile strike capabilities, have each scarcely seen fifteen years of service cumulatively.

    Alternatively and with the NN organised into three fleets, perhaps three of these ships can be restored to full capability using Israeli anti-ship missiles while the rest are converted to gun-armed Midshore Patrol Vessels and replenishment ships to move supplies between what shall soon be a total of 15-20 major bases and FOBs along our 530 mile coastline. Seems sensible to me.

    Some of the 58 metre ships already undergoing restoration work or which are in line for same are

    – NNS Ekpe (P178, commissioned 1981) and NNS Damisa (P179, commissioned 1981), both German-built Lurssen FPB57 missile FACs

    – NNS Siri (P181, comm.1981), NNS Ayam (P182, comm. 1981) and NNS Ekun (P183, comm.1981) are French-built Combattante III missile FACs

    NNS Siri P181, a 58 metre Combattante III missile Fast Attack Craft on patrol

    NNS Siri P181, a 58 metre Combattante III missile Fast Attack Craft on patrol

    For the NN, the only way from here is UP

  13. beegeagle says:

    By the way, the embedded NN link suggests that 3 Manta ASD interceptors were commissioned last week while media reports suggest that the NN commissioned six Manta ASD boats in December 2012. That makes NINE more hi-tech 17 metre Manta boats inducted in December 2012 and November 2013.

    Quote

    “At the NSS Beecroft, the Naval Chief also inaugurated four new patrol shaldag mante boats to enhance operational capability of the base in addition to the six of their class which were inaugurated in December 2012.”

    http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/11/nigerian-navy-export-war-ships/

    end of quote

    You might recall that the FY 2012 NN Acquisition Plan indeed made provisions for two OPVs, three Shaldag FPCs, six Manta ASD Mk.II Littoral Interceptors and four helicopters. That was why six Manta boats were inducted in Dec 2012.

    Going down memory lane and to take an accurate inventory of the number of ins-service Manta Mk.II ASD Interceptors, the takeoff point for the induction of Manta patrol assets was in 2008 when four units were inducted; then in May 2011 four more units were inducted at Lagos; in October 2011 three units also got commissioned in Lagos and in November 2011, two units were inducted at Calabar (plus four Modant Marine boats). In Lagos, we saw white Manta boats while in Calabar, we saw hazegray Manta boats on NTA News.

    So 13 units of Manta ASD Interceptors were in service as of November 2011 and now 9 additional units have been acquired in 2012 and 2013, which makes for a total of twenty two units of 17 metre Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors.

    Given the fact that we commenced the induction of the larger and more powerful 25 metre Shaldag Mk.II Fast Patrol Craft in 2009, perhaps the NN should also strive to bring the number of Shaldag FPCs to ten, as against the five units which suffice (four in-service units, one delivery pending)

  14. beegeagle says:

    Lest I forget, here is a distinct possibility for another haul of mid-sized patrol platforms.

    We need to keep in mind the fact that the NN are strongly indicated as likely customers for 35 metre Sentinel Fast Patrol Vessels. Those just might form the core assets of the Fisheries Protection Patrol Squadron.

    https://beegeagle.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/nigerian-navy-almost-certainly-the-lead-customer-in-nautic-africa-deals-for-seven-35-metre-sentinel-fast-multirole-patrol-vessels-each-with-two-deployable-8-5-metre-br850-tpd-guardian-interceptor/

    And the emphasis on MULTIROLE plus the benign outlines suggest that they shall be tasked with midshore and coastal anti-piracy+fisheries protection duties.

    COMPARE

    35 metre SENTINEL Fast Multirole Patrol Vessels

    PHOTO CREDIT: JANE’S

    62 metre Damen Fisheries Inspection Vessel

    NGOLA KILUANGE, one of two Angolan 62m Fisheries Inspection Vessels built by Damen

    NGOLA KILUANGE, one of two Angolan 62m Fisheries Inspection Vessels built by Damen

    Built for Angola’s Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.

  15. beegeagle says:

    @Doziex+RKA. I also noticed that the NAF which used to have a 204 Air Defence Wing with MiGs at MDGR back in the day and which at the start of the Emergency Rule era called up assets from 75 Strike Group in Yola, now appears to have upgraded the formation in MDGR from a WING to a GROUP and that new group is the 79 COMPOSITE GROUP.

    The designation “COMPOSITE” suggests that it is a multi-tasking formation with a mixed asset base – most likely A-Jet, Mi-24V/Mi-35P and Agusta A109LUH. We shall be watching that formation’s asset base and operations.

    Hopefully and given the possibility of getting surplus but highly airworthy units of Mi-24V and Mi-17 attack and utility helics from the huge surpluses in Russia for as little US$3.75m apiece, that formation can get four units each of both aircraft types for US$30m within the next 3 months. Three surplus units of Su-25 Frogfoot COIN jets which can be grabbed for US$20 million could also be added to their asset base.

    When the war is over, those four units each of Mi-24V attack helic, Mi-17 utility helic and three units of Su-25 Frogfoot, would form the backbone of the NAF’s expeditionary asset base.

    That is, barring other necessary acquisitions such as nine additional units of Frogfoot jets and eight units each of Mi-35P and Mi-171Sh Terminator attack and assault helicopters.

  16. rka says:

    Oga Beeg, we have our fingers and everything else crossed. Hopefully, the 6 Mi-17 Terminators and 3 Mi-24/36 helios on order have been secretly delivered to the NE with plans for more.
    It would be the icing on the cake to have a dedicated expeditionary air wing that can be deployed at short notice with an expeditionary force like the Counter Force battalion with all the necessary backup assets.

    • beegeagle says:

      That is highly desirable. Going back to the ECOMOG years or earlier (and I was already into this as a literate eight year old Primary 5 kid to be sure), I have always dreamt of a NAF with a Composite Expeditionary Group comprising the following assets as MINIMUM holdings which today would translate to mean

      * one C130H
      * one Dornier 228-212
      * one Super Puma
      * one DA42 MPP surveillance aircraft
      * three Su-25 Frogfoot
      * three Mi-17 transport helics
      * three Mi-24 Hind attack helics

      This would be for us a rapid deployment unit – a strategic reserve of sorts. When there is crisis at home and no combat commitments externally, they would be first units deployed to complement air assets and contingents in the neighbourhood.

      If the commitment crops up in the region ala Mali, these would be the get-up-and-go chaps to be called upon. We have been engaged in combat operations NON-STOP since 1990 and it is quite a travesty that we still have to whip round for air assets at crunch time.

      – Liberia 1990-97
      – Somalia 1993-94
      – Sierra Leone 1991-2000
      – Cameroon 1993-2008
      – Niger Delta 2006-2010
      – Northern Insurgency 2010-date
      – Northern Mali 2013

      Indeed, there has not been any one year since 1990 in which our military have not been deployed somewhere for full combat operations..so much so that in 1994, our troops were simultaneously fighting in Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cameroon (Bakassi).

      Given these antecedents and looking out into the regional neighbourhood which directly impacts our national security, should we not really be thinking a standing complement of air assets? Nigeria’s claim to fame in diplomacy is after all her exertion in support of regional security.

      Take a look at our near-neighbourhood, taken to include all republics nextdoor and the countries immediately behind those and the list would frighten you – Niger, Mali, Algeria, Chad, Libya, Sudan, CAR, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Equato-Guinea, Sao Tome, Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo. What is there to suggest that the anarchical neighbourhood shall quieten down any time soon?

      When we used to point out the inflow of black market arms from the conflicts in Chad, Niger, Sudan, Libya and Mali, not to mention cash and knowhow from Algeria, most were in denial. Boko Haram, the purported local problem, have now been gazetted as international terrorists by the USA.

      Our neighbourhood shall remain turbulent for years to come and Mali/ECOMOG type expeditions shall be in the loop for a long time yet. The NAF need to be equipped and deployed accordingly, if you ask me.

      And because asymmetric warfare shall continue to represent the principal threat to regional security, if the NA formed a battalion group-sized expeditionary unit comprising a company of Special Forces plus 600 COIN-savvy and battle-tested troops and armour+artillery support for a total of 950 troops, that would be a great idea. Perhaps that is what the new 101 Reserve Bn should be.

  17. beegeagle says:

    Yeah, we did not mention the fact that the Nigerian Navy now also have an upriver outpost on the Niger, the Onitsha Naval Outpost at Atani.

    Another long-mooted idea has been that for a naval outpost at the lakeside town of Oguta in Imo State. Oguta Lake is linked to the Orashi River which is part of the drainage area of the River Niger and is situated on the opposite bank to ABOH.

    It is at Aboh that the unidirectional southward sweep of the River Niger is interrupted as the great river is bifurcated into two major distributaries – the Nun and Forcados rivers and that marks the upward limit of the geographical Niger Delta.

    For those of us who do not know our way around Nigeria too well, Oguta and Aboh sit facing opposite each other in much the same way as do Asaba and Onitsha.

  18. rka says:

    Oga Beeg, your analysis says it all. We have the personnel, now for the equipment and of course, the will.

  19. G8T Nigeria says:

    welcome back Mr Beeg.

  20. eyimola says:

    http://www.janes.com/article/30813/african-maritime-surveillance-systems-to-be-expanded?from_rss=1

    African maritime surveillance systems to be expanded

    Jeremy Binnie, London – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly
    26 November 2013

    The maritime surveillance systems operated by Djibouti, Nigeria, and São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) will be further expanded under a contract announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 20 November.

    Originally developed as a ship tracking system for the US Navy (USN), SureTrak is now promoted as a user-friendly, affordable, and scalable multi-domain awareness system that can integrate various sensors, including air and maritime surveillance radars, thermal and daylight cameras, and sensors to pick up the Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders carried by commercial vessels.

    It was selected for the Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC), a US programme to help African countries control their territorial waters.

  21. Hussein says:

    Hmmm, field Marshal Beeg welcome back,

    • Oje says:

      Angola buys an Aircraft Carrier? From who? I don’t think carriers are what you can buy with petrodollars from Walmart.

      Oga Beeg, keep up the good work.

  22. Naijaseal says:

    Oga Beeg,
    Interesting article on recent NN strides. Kudos to the NN!

    http://thenationonlineng.net/new/navys-search-new-order/

  23. Oje says:

    hmmm, Indeed Angola just acquired an aircraft carrier from Spain. Nw this is mind boggling. What do you think Beeg? Is this another white water project? one would almost think they are vying for military supremacy in the region and aims to upstage South Africa. For a start a Carrier is nothing and a sitting duck unless its a carrier battle group. To have an effective carrier battle group you need a complement of Destroyers/Corvettes/Frigates, air defense ships and of course submarines. Not sure any African country can manage that at the moment but this should be an eye opener for the Nigerian government. Our back door tiny neighbor Equatorial Guinea just a couple of months back acquired a couple of missile crafts equipped with advanced Navtronics, torpedoes and all. While out Naval fleet remains among the most potent in Africa its still too small and does not meet our strategic requirement. We have the financial resources and diplomatic influence to build Africa’s first real blue water Navy but we seem to lack the will to do so, even with a clear and present danger like terrorist.

    The NNS Thunder already has blue water capability with its unrivaled range. Two more ex Coast guard warships will be delivered in about 6 months from now. With $50 million these can fitted with advanced avionics, vertical lunch torpedo tubes, torpedo carrying helicopters fr anti submarine warfare and a dedicated air defense system. Without these upgrades fitted the Navy is effectively signing the death certificates of the sailors onboard these vessels if sent into harms way against a dedicated enemy. Look what those Jihadist did to the USS Cole.

    • Chief of Naval Staff says two warships are expected from china(January 2014 and the second one in the second quarter of 2014). Source is Thisday newspapers.

      • jimmy says:

        Not doubting you can you be a little more specific on the ships are they the opvs? T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  24. Today is my birthday Folks.Anyone around pitaqua is invited to chop Isi-ewu and wash it down with Tombo

  25. beegeagle says:

    PHILIPPINE NAVY IN US$90 MILLION DEAL FOR TWO INDONESIAN PT PAL STRATEGIC SEALIFT VESSELS (MAKASSAR LPD CLONES?)

    http://www.janes.com/article/32188/philippine-navy-selects-pt-pal-for-ssv-procurement

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