A Shaldag Mk.II FPC (in the background) and three Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptors, commissioned into service on the 19th day of November, 2013 at the NNS Beecroft naval base, Apapa, Lagos.
PHOTO CREDIT: NIGERIAN NAVY
The official Nigerian Navy photo posted above shows that three Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors and a Shaldag Fast Patrol Craft were commissioned last week while media reports indicate that the NN had earlier 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.
“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.”
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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 Nigerian Television Authority 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 Nigeria 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.
The start-up haul of two Shaldag FPCs was delivered in 2009. Pursuant to the fulfillment of the FY 2012 Nigerian Navy Acquisition Plan, an order for three units of Shaldag FPCs was placed, with two of those being commissioned in February 2013. This third unit commissioned in November 2013 thus brings the tally of Shaldag platforms to five.