NNS Thunder F90 in Fremantle, Australia, September 15, 2013


18 December, 2013

The Nigerian Navy frigate, ‘NNS Thunder’ has arrived in Lagos after taking part in a multinational sea exercise in Australia.

The ship departed Nigeria from Calabar on August 8, 2013 to participate in the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review. The International Fleet Review started on
October 3 with 37 ships from 17 countries assembling at Jarvis Bay for onward movement to Sydney in a tactical formation.

The events ended on October 11, 2013 which included a multinational sea
exercise and other events intended to
showcase the cordial relationship that exists among global maritime forces.

Voice of Nigeria Defence correspondent was at the reception ceremony held at Naval jetty Apapa, Lagos. She writes that the voyage to Australia afforded the crew an opportunity to train and bond together as an efficient and effective fighting force.

It also positively shaped the international perception of Nigeria by showcasing the goodwill, strategic credentials and potential of Nigeria as a littoral nation.

Ports calls

During its outbound journey to Australia, NNS Thunder made port calls at Luanda in Angola and Cape Town in South Africa. On her return trip, NNS Thunder also made port calls at Albany in Australia, Port Louis in Mauritius, Durban in South Africa,
Walvis Bay in Namibia and Port Noire in Congo.


NNS Thunder’s return to Nigeria was a happy moment for officers and men on board the ship as they saw the excited faces of their families and friends after 4 months of being away from home.

While welcoming the crew, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor who represented the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, said the ship made port calls to some African countries on its way to
Australia which further strengthens Nigeria’s diplomatic ties.

“Everywhere NNS THUNDER went to the diplomatic commitment rate higher, her presence speaks for itself. So the presence of our ship at various ports shows that the Nigerian Navy is a force to reckon with,” Rear Admiral Ogbor said.

Navy Captain Clement Atebi, who led the 165 crew members on board NNS Thunder to Australia points that their visit to other countries was impactful. “For each of these ports we got to we
made an impact on them and there was always the need and the penchant for collaborative efforts among the navies even at the international level,” Navy Captain Atebi said.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral
Dele Ezeoba commended the officers and ratings of NNS Thunder for their brilliant performance at the International Fleet Review in Sydney, Australia.

The last time a Nigerian Navy ship
participated in an international maritime exercise of this magnitude outside Africa was in 2007 when NNS ARADU and NNS NWAMBA took part in the Brazilian Navy’s Centenary celebrations.


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. victor says:

    Our boys are back

  2. Max Montero says:

    It should have passed by the Philippines and meet her sisterships! A few weeks ago BNS Samudro Joy of the Bangladesh Navy (another Hamilton-class ship) also passed by Manila but unfortunately her 2 sisterships with the Philippine Navy are out at sea. Any new plans for this beauty?

    Max (

    • beegeagle says:

      🙂 None that I am precisely aware of , Admiral Max

      For the benefit of exploring possibilities, what are the precise upgrades to the PN’s Hamilton-class ships? Do you know what the Bangladeshi Navy plan to do with the Samudro Joy? I read somewhere that they want to install C803 anti-ship missiles on them. The BN have lately piled on ex-RN OPVs including six 60 metre 1100+ ton OPVs and two 83 metre 1,830 ton OPVs and are looking to pile on fighting ships.

      The NNS Thunder actually looks easy on the eye in this photo…love the hazegray. It has sailed the globe from end to end – America to Nigeria, Nigeria to Australia and proved that a ship is as seaworthy as the last refit it underwent. Our second Hamilton-class ship shall be netted in the months ahead

      • Max Montero says:

        General Beeg, the Gregorio del Pilar-class (what we call our Hamiltons) frigates’ specific upgrades are still blurry, with the Mk.38 Mod.2 gun being the only formalized acquisition as of now. But the latest press release by the Philippine Navy indicates a service life extension program to make them operational for 15 more years, which according to them will include “upgrades on its navigation, communications, propulsion, surveillance and weapons systems”. Israel, the US and even Korea already made offers but a tender may probably be released early next year. It may also depend on the final fit-out of the 2 new frigates being tendered (so far Daewoo, Hyundai, Navantia and STX submitted bids), whoever wins that may be the basis of the Gregorio del Pilar-class upgrades.

        As far as I know, the Gallatin will be decommissioned in March 2014, probably by this time Nigerian Navy men are already in the US training with another USCG sistership, could you confirm this?

        Max (

      • beegeagle says:

        Nice one for headsup, Admiral Max. I am sure that precise details on the lead-up to the decommissioning of the USCGC Gallatin shall reach me soon enough through Beegeagle’s Bloggers with contacts in the Excess Defense Articles Office.

        They gave me the earliest signal in March 2013 and thus we were able to break the news of that prospective transfer from the USCGC to the NN before any print or online defense medium. The Nigerian CNS later confirmed the imminent transfer in May 2013.

        Concerning the full weaponisation of the Hamiltons, we are on the same page. Israel and Singapore would be ideal partners.

    • beegeagle says:

      And yeah, she should have passed through The Philippines. Perhaps the NN will send the big lady to Pakistan for the 2014 edition of the “AMAN” exercise and from there, she can sail to Manila, returning via Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

  3. rka says:

    I don’t think there is any intel at the moment concerning arming her with any SAM or ASM systems.

    It appears at the moment she will be used for high endurance anti-piracy and anti-bunkering patrols in our EEZ.

  4. Spirit says:

    Welcome home, gallant sailors.

    The present configuration of this Leviathan is just not it. Putting a 125mm gun (or whatever) only on a platform like this can be likened to asking a Mack truck to carry a carton of Malta Guinness! This behemoth should carry any of the French Exocet, the Italian Otomat 3, the Chinese C803, Isreali Gabriel IV or the Russins Yakhount/Moskit!

    This is sheer waste of resources.

  5. Well done NNS Thunder. We’re happy to read that our old ship and her crew are doing well and arrived back home safe and sound after their long trip to Australia. Thunder has a seasoned crew now and we wish her good luck as the crew resumes dutied for the good people of Nigeria. I am a former shipmate of the USCGC Chase WHEC 718 having served aboard during Vietnam 1969 – 1970. Check out the Chase Associan web site News and Events page for the latest news.

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