HMS Iron Duke, a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy is seen here flanked by a Shaldag Fast Patrol Craft of the Nigerian Navy

HMS Iron Duke displays big ship attitude by maintaining supreme stability in rough seas. This is one reason why Beegeagle’s Blog continues to maintain that for good seakeeping during counterpiracy operations in deep offshore precincts, Nigeria must provide new and corvettes, OPVs and frigates for the Navy.

Notice how the 38 metre Sea Eagle Mk.II stealth Offshore Patrol Craft pictured immediately behind the HMS Iron Duke rocks to one side even in waters which are no more than 20 nautical miles from the shoreline? How is that patrol craft supposed to carry out pirate interdiction 100 nautical miles out to sea where the waters are infinitely more turbulent?

The smallest vessel in the photo (in the background) is a 32 metre OCEA FPB 98 Mk.II coastal patrol craft, NNS Dorina P101, which was commissioned in March 2014.

Nigerian Navy and Royal Navy crews pose for a group photo on the deck of HMS Iron Duke. In the far right corner is a 17 metre Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptor.



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. beegeagle says:

    Well, see where stinginess and competing demands have landed us? That is what you get when a nation pretends that she only has to re-equip her military once every quarter-century. We now line up patrol craft to welcome frigates. This happened when we welcomed the Chinese PLA Navy. Here we go again.

    Thanks to the absent-mindedness of successive FGs, we have attained this low. A 17m Manta Mk.II ASD Littoral Interceptor, a 25m Shaldag FPC, a 32m OCEA FPB 98 Mk.II CPC and a 38m Sea Eagle OPC is what we now line up to receive frigates and OPVs. Are we doing this to cut costs or is it a real reflection of the comparative lack of seaworthy big ships after decades of actively under-investing in our military?

    Hark bark to the 1980s, the most which would have happened is that these patrol craft would serve as escort vessels to the frigate NNS Obuma and the corvette, NNS Enyimiri.

    NIGERIA needs to pay serious attention to her military. Her citizens are no longer interested in hearing puerile tales about competing demands whereas top functionaries fly jets more numerous than the fighter aircraft in the NAF inventory. It exposes the false-hearted excuses for what they are – empty rhetoric. Enough of the bigmanism and feeding monumental egos while Nigeria tethers on the brink.

    Good morning, gentlemen.

  2. Augustine says:

    Good morning sir Oga Beegeagle !

    We have screamed aloud that Nigerian navy should not be reduced into Nigerian Coast Guard ! Navy is navy, and in 2014 era, you load a navy with missile armed Frigates and torpedo armed Submarines, backed up with Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters for short range offshore ship-borne, and Anti-Submarine aeroplanes for long range land based sub-surface combat.

    During Liberia and Sierra Leone wars, Nigeria was in dire need of Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunships and Su-25 Frogfoot jets for close air support to save our ground soldiers, but Nigeria refused to buy any when Russia was willing to sell to us not caring about what NATO will say.

    Peacetime is the best time to prepare for wartime.

    Once upon a time, Nigerian NNS Aradu was the most powerful warship in Africa !

    Don’t wait till somebody parks a submarine beside our off shore oil rigs and say, “No more drilling and exporting here, until you Nigeria dance naked to the drum I am beating, we must share this oil and gas today”.

    Brazil faces no single military threat at sea for 50 years, but go count how many submarines and anti-submarine aircraft her navy has !

    If we have no submarine, better get one ATR-72 Anti-Submarine Warfare version of ATR-42 Surveyor, na only pirates you want to be surveying? Who told us that conventional war threat can not come even from a friend and ally? Nigeria may have to face enemy missiles and torpedoes at sea anytime. Go ask Ukraine today.

    Nigerian navy holds the key to Nigeria’s survival based on our oil and gas wealth in the Niger delta and deep offshore, better don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg !

  3. Augustine says:

    Changing Face Of Global Sea Warfare : How Nigerian Navy Will Be Affected

    The year 2002 Spanish humiliation of Morocco by superior sea power, and the rising threat of Algerian sea power, led to the purchase of today’s most powerful warship in Africa 2014…the Moroccan FREMM Frigate Mohammed VI.

    The ocean has become a major source of concern to all nations with coastlines, it is the only free and direct access the enemy has to invade your territory without having to rely on the use of third party territory, except of course, if the invader is your next door neighbour.

    Argentina’s loss of the Falkland war in 1982 is generally blamed on her inferior air force jet fighters/missiles despite her world class brave pilots, failure to test fire her submarine torpedoes before the war, and her largely conscript/rookie army with an incompetent Brigadier General in command.

    However, an overlooked fact is the hurry into war by Argentina, she should have awaited the arrival and testing of her 4 new units of NNS Aradu class Meko 360 Frigates with Destroyer armaments, the Almirante Brown class of warships, and 2 new units of TR-1700 Submarines, then 4 new units of Sea King Anti-Submarine helicopters….. Argentina rushed into the war in 1982 with inferior naval equipment when her new combat vessels/helicopters were on order and arrived in 1983/1984 after the war had been lost !

    Lesson learnt, the best time to prepare for wartime, is peacetime.

    If she had waited till 1984, ignoring the political pressure at home which the Falkland war was meant to cover up and becloud, Argentine navy would have fought the British Royal navy with four Aradu class Frigate/Destroyers with superior anti-ship missiles, superior anti-aircraft missiles, superior ship borne naval main guns, and two TR-1700 brand new submarines, plus four Sea King anti-submarine helicopters.

    Argentine navy at sea with over 30 Exocet anti-ship missiles, almost 100 Beyond Visual Range Aspide anti-aircraft missiles, and over 150 anti-submarine torpedoes…final outcome of the 1982 Falkland war, the world’s only modern combat display of sea power, would have been very different.

    Where does our Nigerian navy stand today in blue water capacity?

    We need a comprehensive fleet analysis, review, and re-arming. What should go, what should stay, what should come in?

    A close look at our blue water fleet requirements will provide some answers.

    Emphasis should be on standard modern day requirements at basic level :

    1.New guided missile frigates
    2.Land based and ship-borne anti-submarine capability
    3 Diesel Electric Attack Submarines
    4.Landing Helicopter Dock
    5.New generation defences against submarine torpedoes with anti-torpedo counter measures. A $300 million dollar warship can be sunk by a $300,000 torpedo in one hour !

    Nigeria should negotiate submarine building technology transfer from a seller of say two units, submarines are more difficult to maintain than warships, and the need for local capacity to keep them operational is essential. Argentina’s inability to fix simple electrical wires correctly, cost her the chance to sink more British Royal navy frigates in the Falklands, San Luis fired submarine torpedoes that failed because of wrong cable connections. South African navy had one of her 3 submarines in dry dock for almost 7 years at home.

    We in Nigeria should look at 100% local maintenance deal from any submarine supplier.

    Today, Nigerian navy blue water force is clearly without any missile or torpedo. Our Sea Cats, Otomats, Aspides, and torpedoes are likely expired or close to expiry dates. Same for the shells and other ordnance for our 40mm, 76mm, and 127mm naval ship guns.

    At the rate of advancements of defensive Close In Weapon Systems intercepting anti-ship missiles in sea warfare, Nigeria must consider both her missile capability and anti-missile capability. Any new warship from OPV to Frigate and LHD or LPD must be protected from enemy missiles with CIWS that are tungsten ammunition armed.

    Also, if we are replacing NNS Aradu, we must ensure that we have a warship with similar 127mm main naval gun as the Aradu. The NNS Aradu is the only ship in Africa today 2014 that can fire shells to a range of about 30km and sink every other warship in a gun duel from Cape Town to Cairo. All other warships have main gun ranges of about 16km, and will be totally out-ranged and out-gunned by an Aradu.

    A typical sea war theater in today’s modern times will see a powerful naval fleet sink a weak naval fleet completely with anti-ship missiles, while two equally powerful navies may just end up intercepting each other’s missiles with CIWS and electronic warfare counter measures. Then all warships will turn to their main guns for a shelling duel of sea power supremacy and gunnery skills with fire control radar guided guns of which 76mm cannon with 16km maximum range, 8km effective range is world standard. A few have 100mm guns. The 127mm gun on NNS Aradu is not common, she will win a gun duel with most navies of this world at 30km maximum, and 15km effective range.

    NNS Aradu replacement, should include a ship with the awesome 127mm gun advantage. A single shot from that higher calibre shell is almost twice as devastating as the world standard 76mm gun, giving great advantages in both range and firepower.

    China offers the double or twin turret 100mm main gun on her Type 053H Frigates with the gun range of up to 24km maximum.

    Also worth considering is the loss of NNS Aradu’s area air defence capability of Beyond Visual Range anti-aircraft missiles, the Aspide SAM has a range of about 45km generally, but some sources believe it could be up to 75km for some versions. Aradu can be said to have the capacity to shoot down enemy aircraft from at least 45km away to prevent enemy stand off missile air to sea attack. Replacing Aradu, we must consider a new ship borne anti-aircraft missile with BVR capability.

    The final decision on what to do with our aged, used and abused flagship is left to those who have the cost-benefit analysis details on paper. Decommission, recommission, strip down to OPV and keep guns advantage, upgrade, re-arm, sell off, replace, whichever is best in national sea power projection interests, should be done.

    Today August year 2014, the very hardworking Nigerian navy can surely bite a pirate ship, making us a brown water navy, but we cannot currently bite an enemy’s guided missile patrol boat talk less of an enemy missile armed Frigate, Submarine, or naval combat aircraft, sadly making us a zero blue combat water navy. What we have now is a blue water patrol force.

    The current fleet needs to be built up to the basic standards as aforementioned, for a start, just $1 Billion will acquire all the five basic requirements listed above. A second $1 Billion will double that capacity, and we can be assured of a navy that will protect our Niger Delta onshore and deep ocean offshore oil and gas reserves worth an estimated $10 Trillion value, from both unconventional and conventional threats. Big wealth attracts big enemies.

    Best time to prepare for wartime, is peacetime.

    • jimmy says:

      This is one of the most constructive articles you have written.

    • Are James says:

      I am filing this out somewhere. This is a very good road map for Nigeria’s, defence sector.
      Thanks a lot and keep it up. Nothing on Kfir Block 60 though, I think that is the only omission..LOL

  4. Oje says:

    Artillery guns in Calabar, Port Hacourt or Lagos will pound the living hell out of any hostile Warship 20 kilometers out. What we lack is an effective air defense system for both our Naval and Ground forces. We keep forgetting this. On F/A 18 will drop bombs on our oil fields, loiter in the air for hours and return to base out of boredom because there is nothing in our arsenal to even put up a feeble fight. It will take another embarrassment before we realise this. Our Navy as it is is second only to SA in SA. Our Army while beaten is still credible detergent in some way. Our air defense forces are non existent. We barely even have total Radar coverage of the South how much more the Federation.

    • drag_on says:

      i’m guessing you mean SSA -Sub Saharan Africa.

    • Augustine says:

      Oje says:
      August 30, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Artillery guns in Calabar, Port Hacourt or Lagos will pound the living hell out of any hostile Warship 20 kilometers out.

      Reply :

      Oga Oje, one single submarine alone will sink the whole Nigerian navy fleet of warships inside all naval bases and you miracle artillery guns from Lagos to Calabar will be 100% useless sir. Artillery will NEVER see or touch a submarine below surface.

      Egyptian, Moroccan, Algerian, and South African Frigates are loaded with anti-ship missiles with ranges of between 70km to 250km, they will be positioned 30km to 50km away from Nigerian coastline and sink the whole Nigerian navy in one hour, after that episode you will realize that you have no navy anymore, thanks to your disappointing army artillery that gave you false hope.

      You have entered the dreadful trap of an enemy naval blockade of all your oil and gas business, na hunger go kill person for obodo Nigeria, not only Boko Haram.

    • Are James says:

      The Iraqi Air force has been destroying ISIS technicals, busting their armour and carrying out a very busy relief operation for civilians stuck in inhospitable safe havens from ISIS fighters. In the last few months tens of SU 25 aircraft, MI 35M and MI 28N choppers have been received and inducted. A very dear country to us needs to learn from this, wake up, get its air marshals out of their 10 vehicle escort convoys & executive jets and make them start earning their salaries for a change.

  5. Oje says:

    The IraqI State enjoys American funding and influence. Iraq will never be short of amour y or the funds to get them. A failed Iraq State with ISIS in control is not in the next interest of the United States. That said they still have the will and dedication to build their armed forces.

    • AreJames says:

      Thank you for the ‘will and dedication bit’.
      Mil MI helicopters are not American ware. BTW, a failed Nigerian state carries as much negative consequences for us as a failed Iraq to America. The most admirable acts of IQAF recently are the relief supplies to the poor, Christian Yazidis carried out by the Sunni majority govt airforce without any promting by the west. I am yet to read of any such medevac for wounded civilians in Nigeria or even the an attempt to get NEMA to act with promptness. We have probably twice as many as the Yazidi people stranded on various hills and forests of NE Nigeria as we speak. Let us continue with our admirably logical ‘rationality’ , ‘research’ and ‘fact gathering’ but be prepared for the consequences of what we are not doing but should be doing.

      • jimmy says:

        No correction. NEMA has been on the ground unlike the naf they have resettling people in parts of bornu and Adamawa state. T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

      • Are James says:

        Thanks for the info.

  6. igbi says:

    There are some very good bloggers whose comments deserve to be read : the owner of the blog, Jimmy, Mcshegs, Gbash, Asorockweb, Ojo, Henri, Barhat, and perhaps one or two which I missed. It is a shame some commentatators have ruined the flow of rational discussion. But I believe a better organization of the commenting process and the research process will go a long way.

    • igbi says:

      sorry I said Ojo instead of Ola. Ola is one of the few who actually brought something verry significant to the readers of the blog while other bloggers (including myself) fell off standards.

  7. Oje says:

    Your comment is borderline retarded, what’s the need for your Forbes Top 10 award.This is a blog where we discuss views and profer opinions on the challenges our country faces not a competition. If you admit you are below par don’t drag the rest of us down with you.

  8. J Stew says:

    Oga Beeg:
    What happened to NNS Okpabana – is it still due for delivery before the end of 2014?

    Is there any truth to the allegation that the order for 40 attack helicopters has been cancelled? If so, what is plan B?

    Finally, what is the status of the order for new fighter jets the CAS-NAF announced to the press earlier this year? What kind of fighter jet aircraft are supposed to be delivered?

  9. Are, Lets shift that to a new thread…its annoying but wen we scream and no one listens dat is even more crazy.

  10. jimmy says:

    YES OGA are james
    let us for once not derail this thread please I dey beg.

  11. Buchi says:

    Guys that fulan guy just.blew his cover and from his own words his is major rtd..if it is true then his motives are now in question and from his last post he seems to be an avid beeg guest or member….cos he dey para

    • AreJames says:

      Whoever he is, lazy describes him well. Can’t even get the content and people to make his blog come alive and then there is some painful drudgery involved in blog management which obviously is too much for him. I am disappointed. I actually thought he had scoops coming direct from the front. At this rate I may have to go to Gwoza myself.

  12. Oje says:

    The same MO, 3 dozen Hiuxes, that’s 36 trucks. How they manage to have the exact number of men and trucks to outnumber security forces baffles me. These guys are Hell riders. The bulk ok Boko Haram anti aircraft guns have a limited range of less than 16,000 ft, are we saying there is nothing in the Nigerian airforce inventory to take on 36 trucks armed with drug addicted goats on full speed from a height of 20,000 ft?. I am seriously thinking about going to renew my passport.

    One week no announcement from Mr Presido, no plan, no clue, nothing even mundane like a name “operation I just dey observe”?

    Given this complacent attitude Boko Haram will be nuts not to consolidate on its gains. If this restivness was happening in the Oil rich Niger Delta we would have invited Navy Seal 6 and acquired Trident Ballistic Missiles. Close to a quarter of a million Nigerian are cut of from the Federation and under BOKOSTANI rule and no body seems bothered. He’ll it’s not even in the news, local and international lol.

  13. beegeagle says:

    THIS ship, manufactured by POLY TECHNOLOGIES of China is the MINIMUM acceptable standard. NOTE that she is described as an OPV by the makers even as she is missile armed.

    OPV Specifications

    Length: 91 meters
    Full load displacement: 1,500 tonnes
    Max speed: 24 knots
    Crew: 48
    Range: 3,500 nm at 16 knots
    Endurance: 30 days

    1x 76mm gun
    630 CIWS
    2x SSM Launchers

    -Patrol and surveillance
    -Anti-illegal immigration
    -Anti-illegal fishing
    -Protection of EEZ
    -SAR (Search and Rescue)

  14. Henry says:

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan confirmed in 2012 that Nigeria will buy two 1800-ton OPV from China , and the annual defense budget includes 6.78 billion naira (Naira), equivalent to $ 42 million; the addition , order matching helicopters and related logistical components of the funding of 10.4 billion naira ($ 6.5 million). It is speculated that China was in contact with Nigeria in 2010 at Africa Aerospace Defence Exhibition (AAD 2010) to get the deal. The main tasks of such a patrol ship model P18N (P implies patrol ship Patrol, 18 means 1800-ton, N represents Nigeria Nigeria), include patrolling coastal defense, protection of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), maritime search and rescue prevention of marine pollution, etc..

  15. Henry says:

    This is conclusive proof the navy is getting Chinese helicopters for her Chinese OPV’s. The navy is going to get at-least 2 helicopters.

    It is clear, the navy’s Lynx helicopters have now been fully retired from service, as this link puts to rest the earlier speculation the navy was going to re-activate her Lynx helicopters.

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