Insofar as the Nigerian Navy’s incoming 1,800 ton P18N Offshore Patrol Vessels are enlarged derivatives of this 1,440 ton Type 056 corvette, there is the continuing need to draw operational lessons from the Type 056 corvette/Harbin Z9 helicopter pairing.

Hopefully, that would serve as a roadmap towards the emplacement of one-stop maritime security solutions for our dear country which is critically assailed on all fronts by a gamut of daunting security challenges at this time.

Speaking of templates to be followed and pairings that demonstrably work, remember that Type 056 corvettes and Type 054 frigates are patrolling the waters around the James Shoal in the disputed Spratlys Islands of the South China Sea as we write this. It is a pairing that is at work for China even now.

From the perspective of lifecycle maintenance support, let me restate my belief that we can and should make Port Harcourt the hub for the construction and maintenance of Chinese-sourced platforms. The angle of one-stop solutions will come into play when we have the optimised Harbin Z9 naval helicopters paired up with the P18N stealth OPVs.

If you ask me, the Nigerian Navy Air Arm should operate and deploy the following airframes as follows

* Bell Jet Ranger – maritime observation and littoral/delta operations in support of counterpiracy and anti-bunkering missions

* Agusta A109e Power – special operations forces insertion, hot extraction, SAR

* Westland Lynx Mk.89 ASW – embarked assets on Western-derived platforms such as the NNS Aradu, NNS Thunder and the incoming USCGC Gallatin

* Harbin Z-9EC ASW – embarked EW and ASW assets on the P18N stealth OPVs.

For maintenance, Agusta/Westland/Bell do work in close collaboration and with the Agusta maintenance facility of the NAF in Lagos, the NN might as well key into that by way of a lateral integration of efforts. That is the way I see it.

Good morning, gentlemen.


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. to4shizzle says:

    Good Morning Beeg1,

    From an Article pasted days ago on your blog, its likely possible we are getting the Z-9 now that the P18N is currently being Fitted and Debugged it would mean Nigerian Naval Personnel are already in China learning to Sail it, In 3 months time it will sail into Nigeria, The Article did make mention of the Harbin Z9 whether China Offshore Shipbuilding Company wants to Upsell or not the Chief Designer of the OPV division said the P18N can Pair Well with the Harbin Z9 for the P18N Project, I think the Ships would be more than 2 so let’s cross our Fingers and Anyword on the Westland lynx? Are they still being Refitted for Gallatin and Aradu?
    Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Etisalat. Enjoy high speed mobile broadband on any of our Easyblaze plans. Visit for details.

  2. Oje says:

    The Nigerian Navy is leaving the army and air force behind in terms of force structure, acquisition and modernization. Why?

    • Are James says:

      The wake up call was the partial success of MEND at the Shell Bonga FPSO some years back. The action caught Nigeria napping and exposed our leaders to ridicule. The world probably has $50bn invested in partnership with Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea on reserves that will yield a cumulative $1 trillion plus in 25 years, questions are continually been asked about security of investment. Piracy, kidnapping for ransom and oil theft is also highest in the region. So lets do the math.

  3. beegeagle says:

    No word yet on the Westland Lynx Mk.89. When Oga Gbash first gave the headsup on their upgradation in December, completion was set for March/April. Those would almost certainly go to the Aradu and one of the two Hamilton-class ships.

    As you have read or heard mooted, the Z9 is the natural aviation asset fr the Type 056/P18N/F22/Type 054 corvette/OPV/frigates. Square pegs for square holes.

    I agree with you that in the absence of firm word on the hunt for FOUR Pipavav corvette-0PV and with the construction of the P18N OPVs being domiciled in-country, we just might see a follow on order for one more P18N OPV and three enlarged Type 056 corvettes which would be absolutely identical to the P18Ns – 1800 tons and with a hangar, something which the standard Type 056 corvette does not incorporate

  4. Tope says:

    @Oje the navy has been blessed wit a Strong Crop of Leadership Excellence plus the Naval Chaps have a Well articulated Strategic Plan, A Chief of Naval Staff Strategic Guidance wich is in Phase 2 plus a Strategic Overall Security Framework and Joint International Experience, We have witnessed the Navy Aggressively Upgrading and Wishing to Transform to a Full Fledged Blue Navy through and through, Check it from da NNS to the Base Commander it Runs like a Fire in dia Blood, Everyone wants to make a Name for diaself. The Navy is proactive cos dia r now More Platforms for it to do its Job. Its as simple as that.

  5. Max Montero says:

    Z-9s are ok, but the NN must decide on 1 type for commonality: new Z-9 or surplus Seasprites? I think new is still better than old.


  6. beegeagle says:

    PHOTO CREDIT: thepeopleofpakistan


    PHOTO CREDIT: thepeopleofpakistan

    PHOTO CREDIT: Times of Pakistan


    These electronic warfare/anti submarine warfare helicopters are equipped with pulse-compression radar, low-frequency dipping sonar, radar
    warning receiver and Doppler navigation system.

    They are armed with torpedoes.

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