The privately contracted patrol boat NNS SWORD returning from duty on the Lagos Secure Anchorage Area in in April 2014.


Anyone ever heard about this little ship before now? It is unique in being the only 40 metre vessel used by the NN that I know of.

Visibly mounted in front is a 12.7mm HMG, almost certainly a Singapore Technologies Kinetics CIS-50 type. Initially, I thought this was one of the eight units of Abeking+Rasmussen/Brooke Marine 31m-32.6m patrol craft acquired by the Nigerian Navy in the early-mid-1970s. But she is not and I am scratching my head trying to figure out where, when and what the details concerning this one are.

Call Sign: P747
Flag: Nigeria (NG)
Type: Special Craft
Length x Breadth: 40m × 10m
Status: Active


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. beegeagle says:

    BTW, relative to the publicity blitz surrounding the donations of two 3,250ton ex-USCG ships, the absolute media blackout on the combat vessel transferred to the Nigerian Navy by the Chinese PLA Navy, ASSURES me that it shall be nothing less than a frigate most probably going a Type 53H2 reconfigured to incorporate a helipad aft, among other efforts at modernisation.

    In recent times, the PLA Navy have transferred (virtually free of charge sans refurbishment and modernisation costs), two units of 1980s-vintage Type 53H1 frigates to Burma and two units of 1990s-vintage Type 53J

    • jimmy says:

      Have you by any chance heard any news on the NN CENTENARY from China. The last we heard was that it was undergoing sea trials. Anything since then?Just curious .

      • Augustine says:

        Oga Jimmy you beat me to it, same question I wanted to ask….curiousity almost killed my cat. Thanks for asking.

  2. beegeagle says:

    She was due to be delivered in July/August. Her sister ship has apparently been taken to the NN Shipyard in PHC where the local component of her construction will be completed.

    • asorockweb says:

      WOW. Hard to imagine that a nation’s new capital ship arrives in port for the 1st time and nobody bothered to trumpet it.

      Thanks for bringing us the little news that exists.

  3. jimmy says:

    Thanks for the info OGA BEEGS interesting conversation between OGA DOZIEX and OGA IGBI never a dull moment between those two LOL.
    OGA RKA , OGA BEEGS Thanks for the link on the Portsmouth frigate , pretty lady ( just an observation keeping it professional) .One last question in view of this being the second warship in less than two weeks berthing in Nigerian waters is there a warming in relations now between the UK and Nigeria? or is it that the UK wants to limit the reach of France in Nigeria.
    Once again thank you for your time and for opening the thread on DAMBOA.
    P.S. It may interest you to know while all this is going on, With the economy of Nigeria expected to have a minimum annual growth rate of 6-7% Ghana the darling of the west is going cap in hand, to the IMF for a bailout. It’s currency in free fall as well as parts of its economy. This is the same country three years ago their President upon discovering oil decided to lecture his fellow countrymen that Ghana with it’s new found wealth would not make” the same mistakes Nigeria has made”.

    • mcshegz says:

      OGA JIMMY, as regarding the Ghananian economy, it is important to note that, they are still referring to the IMF for issues that apparently can be sorted out within the ECOWAS economic bloc. Ghana is a proud country hence the facts are laid bare. The cedi has depreciated over 300% since the latest round of zero removals called re-denomination, i remember at that time, Africans and the world over commending Ghana for taking that step, thinking that because the exchange rate was then 1usd to 1.1cedis, things were definitely rosy. re-denomination doesn’t change the fiscal structures Ghana has been in, re-denomination doesn’t halt the level of depreciation, re-denomination doesn’t affect spending high quantity of dollars on imports and also a fiscal deficit. Allow goods to come in from neighboring countries, pay for thsoe goods with your own currency or the Nigerian Naira, never mind the CFA Franc(that one na another tori for another time). Defend your currency, because as a developing country, that’s all you’ve got. The American USD will continue to export inflation because, it relies on the world sucking up that overwhelming liquidity, hereby causing untold damage to countries that can shore up their currencies. Ask Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, see how he was decimated before finally relying wholesale on the USD and Euro as legal tenders in that country, wise, very wise. Ghana, what will the IMF want you to privatize next?
      PS: sorry for goin off on a tangent, abeg, make una non vex.

  4. The Chairman says:

    Sword is one of at least 30 privately owned boats actively operating with “naval” call signs including a P pennants and a NNS prefix. There are several others that appear not to be active as of 2014. Various ships can assume the same call sign – MMSI, name and/or pennant over time so keep that in mind when figuring out wetin be active at any time.

    type in NNS in the vessel name in any of the AIS/ ship tracking sites lke marinetraffic and sort by position reporting date. enjoy yourselves!

  5. The Chairman says:

    Mr Beeg, BTW Sword is not a 40m x 10m craft. Those dimensions are often bogus. Na bobo as we de say back in the day.

  6. The Chairman says:

    The article from which the NNS Sword picture was taken is about the confusion regarding maritime security in Nigah can be read at

  7. max montero says:

    Its surprising to know that Nigeria has a private naval contractor to help the government’s armed sea services. Any more info on these contractors and their assets?

    • doziex says:

      Hehe he @ Max, it sounds like a naval PMC to me.

      You know folks on this blog are allergic to Private Military Contractors.

      But if Nigeria doesn’t accept it, our business partners and strategic investors would force it on us.
      They simply don’t have the time nor the patience to wait around for Nigeria’s govt and armed forces to get competent.
      So, I believe business pressure will drive the adoption of PMC services in the niger delta and in our territorial waters, but probably not in the NE, where to real emergency is.

      Maybe if enough oil is discovered in maidugri, our govt will sit up about the place.

      • jimmy says:

        Much as I sometimes grit my teeth about what you say, I have to admit you don’t waver in your view.Carry on my brother. I love the fact of your sound reasoning. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

      • asorockweb says:

        You are day dreaming about PMCs.

        Iraqi is littered with PMCs. Bagdad and Erbil probably have PMC “green zones.”

        Stop looking for magic bullets.

      • Are James says:

        There is just this one point. Suppose we put all the Niger Delta security stuff under PMCs (all local content laws obeyed and full security vetting and clearance) and then divert the troops to the N.East . We can kill a lot of birds with one stone including the youth employment bird. Just thinking.

      • doziex says:

        Oga asorock not true. The PMCs worked for the americans. Mainly in VIP and perimeter security.
        XE aka blackwater was kicked out of Iraq.

        Also the PMCs with American funded training contracts for the Iraqi army are already gone.

        So, your assumptions are wrong. And calling PMCs a magic bullet solution just indicates that you have not studied some of their best cases.

        Whether you guys like it or not, BH is waxing stronger, and NA due to the govt of the day ,is not keeping up with the changes.

        You have admitted these assertions in your write ups, but you seem to abandon your own conclusions when I say the same.

        I know folks on this blog are invested in the greatness and the reputation of our NA.

        However, this cannot be at all costs.

        Whether it be GEJ’s govt, or the NA brass, Nigeria is not responding like a country in dire straits.

        After reaching this conclusion, which serious Black at the frontlines has also reached, we need an adjunct course of treatment.

        Our national pride, and NA’s reputation no longer justifies us putting our heads in the sand.

        There is no way any army in the world can be suffering the reverses NA is suffering at the hands of BH, and still be operating a handful of alpha jets and mi-24s.

        Even poor African countries like chad, ivory coast and guinea make emergency acquisitions when in trouble.

        But for Nigeria, our billion dollar acquisitions or is it American free old arsenal is still on the way. How many years in ???.

        Sometimes, I get the feeling that most of us on this blog, either live abroad, or are opining from lagos.

        So the threat of BH’s increasing strength, does not hit home.

        National pride and NA’s reputation is a luxury Nigerians can no longer afford, if Abuja remains asleep or lackadaisical at this late hour.

      • doziex says:

        Oga jimmy, thanks.

        For Nigeria’s survival, we may have to eat some humble pie.

        To be honest, I don’t even see us hiring PMCs for training and frontline advisory roles as embarrassing.

        Too many stronger militaries are using PMC services for Nigeria to be embarrassed about it.
        TTTPs were engrained in Ugandan and Angolan troops at the war front while they fought.

        That’s what military advisory groups be it nation to nation or PMC to nation is all about.

        Oga Peccavi has said that TTTPs have to be improved in the battle space.

        So, how can this be done effectively without embedded mentors/ advisors ?

        If we showed some humility, and the likes of oga igbi would withhold our insults, maybe Col. Eeben would explain to us how the UPDF and Fapla units benefitted from his mentorship and tutelage.

        Which led to solutions to seemingly intractable problems.

        Saying that this is a problem for only NA to solve, is like saying since Nigeria has produced so many engineers like Oga Jimmy, Julius berger and the Chinese cannot build any Nigerian highways and skyscrapers, until our engineers do it first.

      • jimmy says:

        Okay bro hehe . You know me I will always respect your views even though we are on opposite sides of the aisle. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

      • asorockweb says:

        Oga Doziex,

        Iraqi was littered with PMCs until Bagdad was threatened by ISIL. The PMCs were used for training and maintenance.

        Even today there are still PMCs helping with training and maintenance.

        You make the following assertions:
        “Whether it be GEJ’s govt, or the NA brass, Nigeria is not responding like a country in dire straits.”

        How do you think PMCs will fix the above problem?

        So, let me ask you this: If all the NATO forces in Afghanistan were replaced with PMCs, will the Taliban be defeated?

        And finally, PMCs are ALREADY being used in Nigeria. Just go to YouTube and you will find videos of PMCs training NA troops.

        I don’t understand how you can believe that PMCs are the one thing that will extinguish Boko Haram or any other determined insurgency for that matter.

        Mercs are almost as old as warfare, there’s nothing new or magical about them.

        You are unique in the internet world to advocate one solution for all problems.

        I salute you.

  8. doziex says:

    Oga Are James, I believe the PMC concept is needed in many sectors in Nigeria, not just in security.

    It is a way to add value, and resuscitate moribound institutions.

    For instance, private university administrators could form a partnership, that could improve the operation of our universities and secondary schools.

    Our police, our jails, and public housing, if we had any, would all benefit from this concept of injecting proven expertise and experience in administration and day to day running of these institutions.

    Of course, our government must be alert to potential abuses.

    • Are James says:

      PMCs could be an industry in its own right in Nigeria with proper regulatory frameworks and operator vetting / pre registration checks by SSS/NIA/DMI. The internal security environment is that dangerous and a FG defsec budget of $6bn annually is unsustainable in the long term. Local financing for starters in the industry should not be problem at all.

  9. doziex says:

    Oga asorock, Yeah, you still have some PMCs guarding oil investments in Iraq.

    The military training contract was sponsored by the US, and is over.

    What is the difference between American green berets and the Iranian Quds force rushing in to strengthen the spine of a collapsing Iraqi army, and a PMC, comprising of retired spec ops operators doing the same ?

    Of course paid for by Iraq’s oil money.

    I have given you several examples, on how military advisors can make a difference.

    Let me try again.

    It’s PMCs that advised Amisom in urban combat.

    Prior to that, the UPDF Like the Ethiopian army before them, just leveled entire dwellings with artillery fire, when they took casualties from al shabab.

    When the US and EU decided to support Amisom with PMC advisors and funds, the UPDF especially were mentored and trained on the urban tactics necessary to move effectively thru Mogadishu.
    Blowing holes thru walls to advance from house to house, out of sight of al shabab snipers.
    The use of rapidly assembled Hesco barriers to set up proper defensive perimeters, when not advancing.
    The UPDF had the wealth of training, knowledge and experience of their advisers readily available to them.
    On the hunt for joseph kony, Col. Eeben and his company had a training and advisory role in the TTTPs that were engrained in the troops.
    100 or so US green berets are currently continuing in the advisory role.


    When EO arrived in Angola and again in sierra leone, the nations were at a military impasse, the way Nigeria is now, and was in the MEND war.

    Let’s not hate, it was the pedigree and the wealth of experience of the ex SADF soldiers that made the difference.

    All of a sudden, RUF and UNITA went from ghosts that ambushed and attacked out of nowhere, to being to being fixed, approached and annihilated.

    There is a method to this madness. The chaos in the NE, exposes the lack of counterinsurgency expertise in the NA.
    The 200 strong EO team that turned the tide in SLR, would do the same in the NE.
    Even if they are NON combatants.

    Even with the civilian JTF aka Nigeria’s kamajors, NA finds it hard to track and destroy BH units.

    Once this is implemented effectively, BH would be too busy trying to survive, to dare expose themselves to ransack any town.

    The upside for Nigeria is that like the sri lankans, NA would emerge from this conflict with their own expertise.
    And Nigeria now has spec ops units, to keep this expertise alive within the NA.

    The effect of the right crop of advisors, would be to turn BH from the hunters into the hunted.

    And vice versa for NA.

    If anything like the EO, the PMCs should accomplish the following.

    (1) Situational Awareness
    The use of our current and new aviation assets, to maintain spatial orientation about the battle space.
    Simply put, we gat to know where our guys are, and where the enemy is.
    At all times.
    Constant long range patrols, and perimeter patrols, would also let us know who is where.

    (2) Robust Patrols.
    They need to find the weakness in our patrol culture, and advise NA on how to mount robust patrols that can coordinate with close air support, and smash any enemy ambush.

    And as oga peccavi said, turn into the ambush and smash and not flee from it.

    (3) The appropriate use of our special forces.
    Their Job is to harass BH behind their lines by ambushing them, tracking them, disrupting their planning cycle.
    And where and when BH masses to make a stand, to direct the air force, and the maneuver units of NA to smash them.

    I always thought it would be smart to retain the services of Col. Neil Ellis AKA the helicopter ace.

    To mentor NAF’s and NA’s nascent helicopter pilots.

    (4) Proper FOB, BASE and Check point defenses that can withstand and neutralize BH and their technical led assaults

    (5) In addition to the frontline mentors, HQ advisers are also needed to remind our officers of their training, and to trade ideas, strategies and experiences. This is where a guy like Col. Eeben or General Mchrystal would fit in.

    I have Listed all what Nigeria and NA stands to gain from this exercise. Now you tell us what they stand to lose.

    And please don’t say NA pride and national honor.

    • asorockweb says:

      You wrote a lot but you conveniently forgot the basics:

      The Iraqi Army and police force was built by “experts,” including hundreds of PMCs.

      And of cause there is your own statement:
      “Whether it be GEJ’s govt, or the NA brass, Nigeria is not responding like a country in dire straits.”

      You said the above, but you didn’t tell us HOW PMCs will address something YOU mentioned as a core issue.

      These are what you have to address. Forget the PMC brochure that you may have read.

      • doziex says:

        Well, Bro, I have studied the Issue in depth.

        The conviction I have demonstrated thru my persistence on the issue, comes from more than reading a brochure.
        So, please later for the school boy yabs, our nation is in dire straits, that makes this a deadly serious issue.

        Even if GEJ’s govt wakes up today and starts to buy all the military hardware needed as he should, it is already late in the day.
        A lot of our counterinsurgency training programs have also arrived late in the day.

        That is why we don’t have seasoned, well trained counterinsurgency veterans of our own.

        So, The PMC which is a company of very well trained veterans, would train and advise NA while NA fights.

        We don’t have the time to build up capacity and experience 1st before sending folks to the front.

        Moreover, It is not just GEJ’s fault. NA is poorly trained in this arena, and we have been poorly trained for years.
        Military advisers, at the HQ level and the company level, would help us bridge that gap.

        The Iraqi army, has been cobbled together in a hurry, largely along sectarian lines. This has created an issue of loyalty.

        The PMCs ran a sound training program for the nascent Iraqi army. But embedded advisers was always going to be needed to ingrain certain TTTPs, and try to make up a lack of unit cohesion, which saddam’s army demonstrated that they had, over an 8 year war with iran.

        The Nigerian army is also long standing and unit cohesion shouldn’t be an issue in out units.
        Even though I have read stories about the way in which the 7th div was cobbled together.

        You say we already have PMC trainers. True. But we also need the mentorship and field and HQ advising that goes along with that.

        The UK trying to embed some advisors in our HQ, is the closest we have come to what I am suggesting.
        Granted a lot of us here, have issues with the BBC.

        Now, if the 12 American’s training our ranger styled battalion accompanies them as advisors then that would be a model that would suffice.

        I just prefer they be private military advisors, so Nigeria could preserve our independence from the said nations.

        So, again I have answered your question in some detail.

        GEJ’s govt, and the ones before him has let NA deteriorate in every way. So even if he wakes up, as 40 helicopters may be indicating, it would take more than the foreign or Enugu based training, and belarussian aviation mechanics, to turn this aviation unit into a crack unit that can provide reliable close air support against the heavily armed BH.

        So, advisers are essential in such situations. I have suggested Col. Ellis, who just stood up the afghan army’s aviation unit of US donated Mi-35s and Mi-17s.
        And has flown in the SADF wars, sierra leone, angola, the Balkans, Afghanistan and so on.
        If NA or NAF had experienced Nigerian helicopter pilots from the ecomog wars, we would certainly not need him, we would have the trained experienced hands we need.

        So, now I have answered your question, answer mine. How is what I am suggesting bad for our armed forces ??

      • asorockweb says:

        Oga Doziex,

        You are a civilian, you live in the west and probably have a good paying job.

        It should be clear to you that you can’t have more knowledge and experience than our mid-level officers in the military. That much should be clear.

        Political leadership has not dedicated itself to the task at hand.

        PMCs will not change that.

        I assume that the UK military was embedded in NATO’s HQ for the Afghan mission.
        It should be pretty clear to all that NATO will leave Afghanistan with the Taliban intact.

        The PMC trained air assault corps in Afghanistan have not defeated the Taliban. Even you cannot believe that they would.

        One of the questions I asked you was if all the NATO forces were removed and replaced with PMCs will the Taliban be defeated?
        I believe the answer is no.

        I am not opposed to PMCs.

        I would like to see them train-up the police combat arms.

        What I am opposed to is the idea that PMCs are the answers to all problems; this is what your recent posts suggests.

      • doziex says:

        Oga Asorock,

        I have never said that civilian defense contractors are a panacea, what I have suggested is that like other militaries world over, we use them as an ADJUNCT.

        To improve the combat quality of our troops while they fight.

        What are the best ways to neutralize BH’s AAA ?. RPGs are not accurate at long distances.
        I am sure our officers are bright enough to come up with some solutions, but in the heat of battle, it takes more than head knowledge.

        Experienced experts are invaluable. Ask the soldiers if you doubt me.

        Well, I am glad, I have information that it is a PMC rather than US spec ops that is training our ranger battalion.

        Word is, the private contractor accompanied the attack force that assaulted damboa.

        If this is true, things are moving in the right direction.

        I just don’t see any harm in trying. Especially with what is at stake.

        You asking if the PMCs can defeat the Taliban makes no sense to me.

        They can add value to the ANA as trainers and advisers.

        I gave you the EO example in SLR and Angola. I gave you the STTEP example with the UPDF. I gave you the example of the PMC, which in addition to western financing, vastly improved the quality of Amisom.
        There is also the famous MPRI involvement with the Croatian Army blitzkrieg to capture the Krajina region from Serbia.

        So, a PMC like EO is NOT a solution to all our ills.

        However, the erstwhile Executive Outcomes offered clients like angola and sierra leone , well trained officers and spec ops combatants with vast combat experience, African combat experience to be exact.
        NA can definitely benefit from such a relationship.
        Forget the pride issues, that we cannot afford now.

        Their is nothing BH has to offer that is new to such a group.
        So rather than continuing with the “rookie” mistakes being made on the battle field, that is wasting the lives of our best troops and our civilians, a PMC military advisory group is a NO BRAINER.


      • asorockweb says:

        This is probably the fifth time I am saying this, but PMCs have been involved with the Nigerian Armed Forces since OBJ.

        Since they are already executing your great suggestion, can we rest now?

      • doziex says:

        Not in the all important advisory role my friend.

        That is a major difference which you want to pretend doesn’t matter or exist

      • asorockweb says:

        So you swallowed the content of the blog you posted a link to?


        Because you know that the source is credible? Or just because it supports your wishes?

        Don’t tell me that single article made you believe that PMCs trained the Ranger Battalion. All other sources, including US state department sources say the US Special Forces trained the battalion. There’s a US sourced article that actually interviewed some of the folks from the California National Guard SF that did the training.

        I actually thought you had other sources other than the link you posted.

    • doziex says:

      Yeah, oga Asorock, I am sure you can read very well, and I clearly prefaced the new information with


      The narrative sounded credible, but how does anybody really know.

      I found a source of information and honestly put it up for discussion.

      On this blog where we discus opinions and our individual findings, there is nothing wrong with that.
      Except that instead of discussing ideas on the merit, you want to play point counter point.

      Well you are alone if that’s your sole purpose here.

      I have read so many of your postings that reveals that you actually agree with what I am saying, but you choose to play small minded personality games.

      If the issue wasn’t so important, I will play along with you, as I once did.

      The point remains this; NA should embed private military advisory/ mentors for the sole purpose of improving the quality, and the performance of our troops.

      Gen. Ihejirika and others have made some improvements on COIN training, But the embedded advisors would really make the difference, for reasons I have abundantly stated.

      I would continue to drive this point home, because of the audience beegeagle’s blog provides us.

      The fact that you can’t stand my opinion, is truly a personal problem.

  10. Kay says:

    @ Doziex,
    I like your answers.
    The capitulation of the Iraqi army is more than meets the eyes…ISIS advance largely capitalised on the disenfranchisement with Maliki’s government from Sunnis especially in the very early phases when they seized Fallujah in January. So it was quite easier for those terrorists to perform routs whilst advancing against ever splintering army units. Compared to Iraq, BH doesn’t enjoy such level of support to an extent, villages where possible form units to protect against attacks and we do not hear stories of our Northern soldiers deserting (the little desertions are mostly or not about overwhelming conditions;no support and overrunning of military posts) and carting away our hardwares to the enemies).
    Better examples of PMCs at work were given of Uganda where they have more cohesive units and thus able to achieve objectives with advisors adapting to ever changing enemy tactics. This theatre to me is unlike anything the Nigerian army has dealt with before (correct me if I’m wrong) and would do with applying square pegs in square holes.

    • doziex says:

      Thank you sir !!

    • freeegulf says:

      oga kay, the war up north also is strange. there is more to it than meets the eye.
      as for bases, we saw what happened when the insurgents too damboa. how some of those brand new APCs became boko haram booty is still unexplained. you should know that this war isn’t a straight cut campaign. there are lots of moving parts. sometimes even too fluid even for the wreckers and profiteers.

  11. Kay says:

    Did a little research and found out more privately contracted ships, NNS Predator, Conquest, et al.

    So according to Rear Admiral Alade who received the British Navy, he stated that with…”The arrival of the vessels (Okpabana and Centenary) will see an end to the use of private security outfits to compliment the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in policing the country’s water ways,”

    As for NNS Centenary, she was still at Qidong shipyard as at August 3. Hence why no news about her arriving…

  12. freeegulf says:

    oga doziex, so the same leaders that cant spend some few change in equipping the military, are the same leaders you expect to spend money on PMC? abi are they not going to pay them for their super duper effort? continue to think the PMCs will save this country.

    Na wah with this your PMC. you don turn IMF hatchet man – everything must be privatized. maybe we should privatize our leadership too, while we are at it, why not privatized the masses also.

    we don’t have the political will. if we cant garner the will to fight, we shouldn’t expect supermen to come do it for us.
    this is the same armed forces that just concluded a gunboat war in the niger delta. not even a single night assets to support the troops at the front today. for a military that just finished one asymmetric warfare, now unable to be proactive against another new front speaks alot about our lack of stomach for any inconvenience. we rather just wish away the miscreants than equip and wipe them out

    like i said before, these people, unfortunately, do not matter much. not until the big NW cities fall and these miscreants start marching to Abuja would the FG sit up and handle this war with the necessary seriousness it deserves.

  13. beegeagle says:

    NNS PREDATOR P713 is a 37 metre patrol craft

    NNS CONQUEST P714 is a 31 metre patrol craft

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s