PHOTO CREDIT: GCAPTAIN
PHOTO CREDIT: DEFENSEINDUSTRYDAILY
After news broke today about the scheduled 2014 delivery of five Dutch-built naval ships to the Nigerian Navy, I spent quite a while searching for K49 patrol boats.
Given the strategic partnership between TP Marine and the NN and the similarity between a hitherto unknown K47 patrol craft and the K38 Combat Catamaran made by TP Marine, my search inevitably centred on TP Marine contracts. That was dead ended.
Then one realised that the K47 is a codename for this particular Nigerian project ala the NN entering into a contract for the P18N variant of the Chinese Type 056 design. What finally woke me up to the reality is the fact that the naval brasshats mentioned EIGHT SHIPS…so it became clear that the obscure K47 patrol boats are not just those ordinary skiffs but useful 47 metre Midshore Patrol Vessels.
Damen, like Intermarine of Italy, Lurssen of Germany and Vosper Thornycroft of the UK are one of those old partners in shipbuilding. Sure as can be, a few whispers have surely reached me confirming that the NN are expecting an impressive haul of five 47 metre MPVs, believed to be the Damen 4708 Midshore Patrol Vessel.
The belief is that these vessels shall be armed with 20mm cannons which is traditional for NN vessels tasked with maritime law enforcement missions such as counterpiracy and anti-bunkering operations.
Some NN vessels known to field the 20mm cannon as main weapon include the 31 metre Made-in-Nigeria NNS Andoni, the new 32 metre OCEA FPB 98 Mk.II patrol craft NNS Dorina P101 which was commissioned in March 2014 and the pair of 38 metre Sea Eagle Mk.II Offshore Patrol Craft. The aforementioned vessels also carry secondary armament such as 12.7mm HMGs and GPMGs.