People’s Daily Online
February 21, 2014

The first new-type patrol ship F91 that
China plans to export to Nigeria has been launched. It will be delivered in the
middle of 2014 as scheduled. It will
become the first ship of the Nigerian
navy’s P18N project.

During an interview, Major General Yin Zhuo made particular mention of the vessel’s stealth performance. The first F91 stealth patrol ship was successfully launched on January 27. Its major missions include patrolling and guard duties along the coastline, protecting exclusive maritime economic areas, carrying out marine search and rescue, and preventing marine pollution.

According to relevant data, the F19 patrol ship has a full length of 95 meters and a waterline length of 89 meters. With two diesel master engines, and a top speed of about 39 km/hour, it can navigate on the sea for 20 consecutive days.

On the stealth performance of F91, Yin
Zhuo pointed out that the ship’s bows lean slightly inward, and bevels are
superimposed on the upper part of the
deck; as a result, the radar reflection
points are few and the radar image is
small. He pointed out that an 1,800-ton
ship with stealth capacity will have the radar reflection area of a ship of about
500 tons; it can be discovered only when
it is very close to the radar of enemy,and cannot be observed if an appropriate
distance is kept from the enemy radar.

Modern terrorists have a growing capacity for counter-reconnaissance and a strong combat capacity. While at sea, some can seek out nearby military ships patrolling in search of them. Therefore, the stealth performance of F91 is also essential for coping with non-traditional security threats.


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. rka says:

    Oga Beeg, looks like the OPVs will be delivered with Helos from China.

  2. rka says:

    “Their price tag was US$42 million. In addition to the ships, Nigeria paid US$6.5 million to buy helicopters and replacement parts for the ships.”

    • DewAY says:

      2 helicopters and ship parts for $6.5m? if this report is true and accurate, I wonder what kind of helic they actually went for, what capability they will come with or just basic? Will be waiting to see.

  3. Henry says:

    Probably used helicopters or the chinese journalist got the numbers mixed up. I don’t think 6.5 million would get us even one naval helicopter.

  4. rka says:

    I think the amount was probably lost in translation. @Oga giles, I don’t know what helicopter, but it is likely to be the Harbin Z9 as @Deway pointed out.

    • giles says:

      pls does d ship hav any missile or any atomic of anti-aircraft or any atom of self defence weapon

      • Are James says:

        I think the ship’s spec sheets describe a rather tame firepower as far as high intensity high seas naval warfare goes, the main purpose for now is in the anti terrorist and offshore oil platform protection roles but trust Nigerians, if required the ship will be upgunned and missilized as appropriate.

  5. beegeagle says:

    Thanks, RKA. That was most likely a gaffe.

    In 2012, it emerged from somewhere (almost certainly a Budget Office statement) that an outlay of US$42 million had been set aside for the procurement of two OPVs. Truth is, that is only a little more than half of the outlay necessary to grab one of these OPVs. Do not forget that on April 18th 2012, the NN signed a N24 billion (US$155 million) contract for two P18N OPVs. So therein lies the true cost of the ships. The US$42 million only amounted to ANNUAL servicing costs

    Concerning the navalised variant of the Harbin Z-9 helic, the asking price is US$10-11 less. Pakistan tied up four F22P frigate-Z9 helic pairings for US$175 million apiece, the helicopters costing US$10 million in those deals.

    To my mind, that US$6 million outlay might also amount to annual servicing costs on a minimum of two Z-9s which would be most ideal for the P18N ships from the point of complementarity and lifecycle maintenance. Note that the Z9s are standard complements for the Type 056 corvettes from which our P18N OPVs were developed. That is how the Chinese field them and that is precisely what the Bangladeshis are getting in on.

    Additionally, the navalised Harbin Z9s are embarked on Chinese-built F22 frigates, Type 054 frigates and Type 052 destroyers.

    So if there are Z9 helics coming with the Nigerian ships, that would not be out of the ordinary. What is clear is that the navalised Z9 helo costs a minimum of US$10 million.

    Back in 2012, the NN were lined up to receive

    – two 1,800 ton stealth OPVs
    – three Shaldag Mk.II FPCs
    – three OCEA FPB 72 Mk.II CPCs
    – six Manta ASD Littoral Interceptors
    – four naval helicopters

    The precise make of the helics was not made known to us but when I visited the SBS commandos mid-year 2012, we came out with a world first photo of a Bell Jet Ranger and have since published photos which showed a minimum of two Jet Ranger helos inside a NN hangar.

    Yes, US$ 6 million can get you four Bell Jet Ranger helos. But I doubt that such a small helic will be embarked on the oceangoing P18N stealth OPVs which are intended for deep sea operations where the operating conditions would overwhelm a small helicopter such as the Jet Ranger.

    My measured guess is that we are either going to see the two stored and torp-capable Lynx Mk.89s revived or new Harbin Z9 helos are coming into NN service.

  6. beegeagle says:

    That is also a smart one coming from Henry. At US$6 million, it could only be factory-refurbished Z9s. Otherwise, that outlay would only amount to advance payment on a larger contract sum.

    • jimmy says:

      I don’t want to disagree with both of you oga beegeagle and oga henry because on TECHNICAL KNOW HOW YOU GUYS have forgotten more in your sleep than I know however READ ON :
      I believe the two Helios will be brand new. The Chinese culture has a lot to do with “saving face” . These two opvs as I predicted last year will be here before OCT2014. I also went further to discuss the implication arising from the debacle of the flying coffins. The Chinese want to make good on their promise to deliver on time and this is one of their FLAG SHIPS for export purposes do not forget the issue of diplomatic support that China covets from AFRICAN nations like Nigeria over the hotly disputed Spratly islands/ or depending on who is translating in CHINESE OR JAPANESE .Right now this is a very sensitive issue and Nigeria sits on the UN security council.
      China probably figured to throw these Helios in BRAND NEW not USED as a sweetener.
      For those doubting that the sub model given to Patience was just a piece to collect dust on her dresser ,THINK AGAIN. This is just my humble pie opinion/take my ogas.

      • Are James says:

        Apart from ‘saving face’ and defence sector market entry strategy, China also bought heavily into Nigeria’s oil and gas reserves a few years ago.
        Guess where the oil reserves are located? The Eastern flank of the Gulf of Guinea.
        An emerging superpower would think; …why don’t we partner with the Nigerian Navy on a cost effective way to guarantee security of supply and safeguard our investments. With these considerations in Mind two or four free Harbin Z9s are no great price to pay.

  7. beegeagle says:

    Yeah, bro, we could do with the Z-9s. We need to realise that the 360-degree complementarity which we require can best be advanced with one-stop and integrated maintenance and support programs.

    All the new generation Chinese ships – Type 056 corvettes, Type 054 frigates and Type 052 destroyers all have embarked Z-9 helicopters. What it portends for lifecycle support and interoperability? That is rather obvious.

    Nothing wrong with using the Bell Jet Ranger helics for inshore observation, the A109e Power for SAR and insertion of SBS commandos while the Harbin Z-9EC ASW would be carried on board the P18N stealth OPVs (and possible future acquisitions of Type 056 corvettes). The two Westland Lynx Mk.89s ASW should be deployed on the NNS Aradu and NNS Thunder. We need to look out for a third Westland Lynx Mk.89 from somewhere so that the incoming 3,250 ton USCGC Gallatin can also have carry on deck.

    That way, our five biggest ships namely, NNS Aradu, both 3,250 ton ex-USCGC ships and the P18N stealth OPVs all carry torpedo-armed helicopters in their hangars, thereby reducing the propensity for foolery on the part of any potential aggressor.

    Now, we do multilevel business with Agusta with the NAF and NN operating A109s and AW 139s. AGUSTA, BELL and WESTLAND are ‘practically one’ these days so the NAF’s Agusta Service Centre at Lagos can as well take care of the NN’s Bell Jet Ranger and Westland Lynx helics as well.

    Let the Chinese naval support be anchored around PHC with indepth P18N OPVs and Harbin Z-9 maintenance competencies developed around that axis.

  8. Tope says:

    Oga Beeg, I salute, I like ur outlay it makes sense also to have it in PHC due to the fact that in any future da 2 Deep Sea Ports planned in Uyo and Bayelsa will need Support and PHC with its Shipyard and Same coastline feature provides a perfect fit,since both are in the Oil Zone it also makes double sense that chinese Investments be splashed out in dis Areas.

    @Jimmy I know the Chinese Philosophy of Saving Face and with the Twisted Geopolitical Race between USA, China and EU led by Germany we can actually use this as an opportunity, but honestly let us still be wary with our bed fellows.

    The First P18N will sail into Nigeria with the Ex-USCGS And both will be launched together, I’m sure dat period dey will announce Aradu Re-fit programme as well as Arrival of 2nd P18N for Completion I look forward to Navy Week this year its bound to be LEGENDARY.

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