NNS Thunder F90, sister ship to NNS Okpabana F94, pictured at the International Fleet Review 2013 in Australia.

2 January, 2015

The Nigerian Navy is set to boost its policing of the nation’s maritime environment with the coming of a new warship, NNS Okpabana, from the United States of America.

NNS Okpabana,a former United States Coast Guard vessel, Daily Sun learnt, would, like its sister vessel, NNS Thunder, join in the policing of Nigeria’s waterways, in response to the mandate by President Goodluck Jonathan to rid the waterways of crude oil thieves.

Daily Sun learnt that the vessel,which was purchased from the United States government,had on its way to Nigeria visited Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, Dakar in Senegal and Tema in Ghana.

With a crew of 117 ratings and 29 officers, the vessel will arrive Nigeria today to an elaborate ceremony planned to hold in Lagos.

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:

    Been reliably informed that the big lady has berthed at NNS Beecroft in Lagos.

    Congratulations to the Nigerian Navy. Onward Together !!

  2. gbash10 says:

    Congratulations to the Nigerian Navy,Uncle Sam ,thanks but No thanks!
    Onwards together.

  3. Deewon says:

    Its presently docked at Naval Dock yard. Where a welcome party is going on

  4. saleh says:

    cool we done with coast guard time for a real navy

  5. beegeagle says:

    Oga Deewon my man, always spot on with the gist.

    You know, when someone said recently that the Chinese PLAN gifted the NN two very useful but yet-to-be-delivered gunboats in the 50-65m category, I concluded that one of them would be a 520 ton 65 metre guided missile craft taken from the Hong Kong flotilla. Those are being pulled back as the Type 056 corvettes get piled on.
    We had expected to see a Type 53H2 frigate though but hey, we need sea-launched missiles ASAP, so let us get started already.

    This almost certainly one of the ships given FOC by China..armed with SIX C802/C803 missiles.



    Displacement: 520 ton
    Length: 65.4 m
    Beam: 8.4 m
    Draft: 2.4 m
    Speed: 32 kn
    Range: 1,800 nmi @ 18 kn
    Propulsion: 2x SEMT-Pielstick 12 PA6 280 diesel engines @
    1,584 hp with 3 shafts
    Complement: 75

    Anti-ship missiles: 6 C-801/802/803

    Guns: 2 Type 76A 37 mm (II x 1) and 2 AK-230

    Surface search radar: 1 Type 348
    Navigational radar: 1 I-band Type 765
    Fire control radar: 1 Type 347G

    My mind tells me that the NN want to get acquainted with Chinese missile and torpedo systems using the Red Arrow missile craft and shall yet induct enlarged Type 056 corvettes which shall be similar in size to the P18N stealth OPVs, currently the largest derivatives of the Type 056 family of warships. That is a VERY GOOD move forward. Savvy Nigerians all want to see the NN go back to ramping up missile and torpedo armed ships. After all, we have a NAVY and not a coast guard.

    REF the smaller 50 metre vessel, I really do not know what to imagine. We shall see what that turns out to be…

  6. rka says:

    This will be good if it becomes reality. The only way forward with missile armed crafts/ships is with the Chinese and maybe Russians.

    The West is a no go.

  7. buchi says:

    what NNS OKPABANA is in town….u cant just imagine the joy i feel now having to realize that we are one step closer to accomplishing a blue water navy configuration…i feel so joyful……this yera looks 2 to be a game changer on our overall outlook..oga beegs whats the full armament on okpabana

  8. jimmy says:

    Speaking if Training are any of the CURRENT crop of Senior officers trained on Missile and Torpedo systems? This is a valid question because our last major ship that had both systems was the NN Aradu .
    I am grateful that the US govt saw fit to gift Nigeria the NN OKPABANA, I am grateful that the Nigerian govt, this is a culmination of almost three years worth of lobbying and persuasion on both sides.
    This Ship like President Nixon used PING PONG diplomacy to restore Diplomatic ties between China and America can be used to restart what has been ABYSMAL RELATIONS between the US and Nigeria – the last time relations between Nigeria and America were this bad was at the Height of the Abacha Era and shortly before his death. A problem is half solved when the parties to the problem acknowledged there is a problem. That will be the first step WASHINGTON/ ABUJA we have a problem . The next step FORWARD will be solving this problem.

  9. jimmy says:

    *Speaking of*

  10. jimmy says:
    I am sure that OGA BEEGS would not mind me saying this it is interesting that based on the comments of the Admiral the two ships ( NN THUNDER, NN OKPABANA) will be based out of the same command, I like the fact that it has it’s own radar on board that links back to the NN HQ Naval command.This is key to act upon INTEL.
    I would like to end this piece on a positive note it was a good thing the controversial US Ambassador to Nigeria decided on a rain check on this one and was represented by his No.2 Jeffrey Hawkins sometimes discretion is the better part of Valor.
    Have a good day my people the OCEAN just got a little bit bluer and deeper for the Nigerian Navy.

    • beegeagle says:

      The second Made-in-Nigeria patrol craft designed and built by NN architects and engineers is what the CNS just said has been launched – which is a good thing. She is a 38 metre platform.

    • Are James says:

      The main good coming out of these gifts from Uncle Sam is training and operational experience for the Navy. We cannot arm the ships with missiles without violating many agrrements.
      Many missile suppliers won’t even do it with the exception of Chinese and Russian ones. On the US ambassador, I think I actually prefer him to these Hawkins guy, always in sunglasses who has walked around our defence facilities a little too frequently and everyone knows he is a spook.

  11. Yemi Sweet says:

    Congratulations to the Nigerian Navy – A welcome development

  12. mayorrrules says:

    Why would America give Nigeria a ship that is old with at least 80 souls on board and will not sell cobra attack hello with just two souls on board given excuses like we can maintain them both helicopter and ship are above 32 years Old?

  13. jimmy says:
    Sorry for the derail but this trending ( as in it is big news on the social blogs in Nigeria)
    Regardless of which side you are on and for full moment of DISCLOSURE I am going to be on the side of the Country that will offer LETHAL ASSISTANCE , Training and spare parts minus the preaching. Nigeria has to look INWARDLY and vote/ abstain according to what is in Nigeria’s best interests, all those years Nigeria took a stand for the South African Nations and South Africa today is so Eager to do/ malign Nigeria’s Interest with China is something Nigeria needs to understand, Nigeria has to remove the semantics and vote according to what is good for Nigeria, meaning no country should take Nigeria’s vote for granted.

    • ugobassey says:

      The part you seem to have left out though is while it seems Nigeria did this because of Israeli assistance, yet the main benefactor of this action was Uncle Sam……don’t you think?

      • jimmy says:

        No they are not oga UGO BASSEY tell one AFRICAN Country that we helped during the 80s and 90s that we helped let us even go back to the 70s so as to include CHAD , Please mention one country that donated one artillery shell to us during the boko haram crises tell us one country that gave us a T-55?
        Nigeria did this for her own selfish Interests it was not to help America supposing we have a little problem we cannot fix something on one of our SHALDAGS, Nigeria can pick up the phone/ internet it gets done rerouting something over ISRAELS airspace done no preaching , done deal.Nigeria needs to be un predictable when it comes to voting based on the principle what is in it for Nigeria, that is the guiding light.

  14. superboi79 says:

    Congrats to the NN….Onward Together

  15. ugobassey says:

    I thought NNS Okpabana was gifted not purchased. Please correct me if im wrong.

  16. saleh says:

    Does anyone know if there is a restriction on Nigeria arming this craft with missiles. the bangladeshi are presently arming BNS Somudro Joy (former USCGC Jarvis gifted to Bangladesh) with C-802A anti-ship-missiles, FM-90N SAM and torpedoes

  17. maz says:

    Okpabana is F93, not F94

  18. trigger says:

    Wow!! Good one NN
    Imagine a revamp NNS Aradu and the two rearmed Hamilton class plus one resupply ship patroling the world waters.

    True blue water capability…

  19. Augustine says:

    NNS Thunder and Okpabana, were gifted to Nigeria because oil and gas ocean piracy directly damages American business interests in Nigeria, Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, Schlumberger, etc. If you want anything from America, prove to them that if they don’t give you, USA will suffer as a result of your inability to protect American interests.

    They know OPVs with no missiles are enough to stop the most dangerous sea pirates in this world, so that is the limit of what we get, yankee won’t give us lethal missile warship.

    Well, Nigerian navy can play long ball with our 2 Hamilton Cutters and P18N stealth OPVs to make them ‘armed’ as makeshift frigates.

    Buy 2 units of cheap Chinese Z-9C naval Helicopter for $10 million each, spend extra $5 million to fully arm it with Chinese anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes with dipping sonar. Then buy cheap Chinese MANPAD anti-aircraft missiles and have sailors trained to use them on board the ships.

    There goes your 2 frigates armed with missiles and guns, a CIWS cannon for self-defence is also a possibility, especially for the P18N whose current RWS gun does not have real CIWS capability unless they changed what we saw in the sea trial videos.

    For me, this is a cheaper and more flexible stop gap measure than project Aradu refit, this formula can be combined with two units of Chinese 520 ton cheap second-hand fast attack crafts armed with anti-ship missiles.

    To buy and build a new frigate even if it is the small Type 056 fully armed, we need about $120 million and about 2 years construction period.

    If NAF can spend $250 miilion as F-7 jet stop gap measure till we get a 4th Generation jet fighter, FG should give our navy their own stop gap measure fund even if it is just $100 million, and phase one should provide short term missile and ASW capability in 6 months from now, while phase two will provide very long term capability in 24 months from this time.

  20. beegeagle says:

    We need missile-armed ships and OPVs can be that as well.

    When the Bangladesh Navy acquired the ex-RN 1800 ton OPVs a few years ago, I could never have imagined that they were going to be converted to missile-armed ships. Today, BNS Dhaleshwari F36 and BNS Bijoy F35 have been uparmed with CHINESE 76mm naval guns and C704 missiles.

    Take a look at BNS Dhaleshwari

    Too much caution leads to timidity. Is it a case of analysis paralysis in Nigeria? If it be MV Emer, let us start with that and have it armed with missiles. We have to start from somewhere.

    The leading American commenter on this blog, who happens to be a naval aficionado, has said that there are absolutely no strings attached to the transfers of NNS Thunder and Okpabana and that we can mount missiles on them if we so desire.

    As we speak, the same Bangladeshis who got a Hamilton class ship as well – BNS Samudro Joy – are firming up plans for the emplacement of Chinese C803 missiles on the ex-USCG ship.

    They have also acquired two ex-PLAN Type 53H2 frigates, built two 648 ton missile craft which are miniaturised Type 056 clones and are building two Type 056 corvettes – all missile armed and coming from China.Locally, their Khulna Shipyard has built five 50 metre ships which might also be armed with C704 missiles.

    We activated our 10 Year Naval Plan at the same time as the Bangladeshis. Six years down the line, why are we fixating on law enforcement ships to the absurd and total exclusion of fighting ships whereas our Mk.9 corvettes, Lurssen missile FACs, Combattante III missile FACs and NNS Aradu are clearly past their prime and should be retired or converted to law enforcement assets?

    PLEASE, Nigeria need fighting ships. The less said about that, the better.

  21. Augustine says:

    A word is enough for the wise. FG and NN….action please.

  22. Augustine says:

    Bangladesh has far less threat than Nigeria, yet have a fleet of missile armed Frigates, and Bangladesh is a very poor country financially…..but rich in wisdom of security and military power.

  23. Oje says:

    Auhustine sharrap abeg, you too complain. Nigeria as it stands have more Ships in good conditions that the other West African Navies combined. There is no ship in Africa
    9including North Africa) with a range and endurance like the NNS Thunder..beautiful thing U.S Tech. The ARADU, still has no peer in West Africa. The two new tear rubber Stealth OPV’s we just received is unmatched in range and capability. As of this writing there is over a dozen capital Ships currently sea worthy able to project power beyond the gulf of Guinea. 10 years ago this was UNTHINKABLE !!, you seem to forget it takes years of traiming to field a complete crew for a Vessel. Cameroons Navy is 600 strong(Yes thats right, 600 persoonnel), Chad has no Navy, Ghana’s Navy can do little more than basic shoreline defence. The Nigerian Navy today being one of the largest in Africa have an overkill capability in the West/Central African region, you want us to spend money buying Harpoon missiles we may never use when the army is bearing the brunt of our home grown insurgency and needs all the funds it can get for capital expenditure. Oil prices have dropped %60, our foreign reserve has been depleted by %10, do you think about the economics of things before you open your mouth to bash what ever Nigeria does? Ive seen you Bash the aquisition of 77 T-72 Tanks because they dont have ”Thermal Imaging”…it is same you who bashed the Nigerian Army for refusing to aquire new Tanks last year. Please calm down. Things are moving in the right direction, for the first time in perhaps two decades the military is being funded, aquisitiion takes time, more so with training.

  24. beegeagle says:


    no doubt our submarine will be arriving ending of this year from China

  25. Oje says:

    Anything that sounds too good to be true usually is o, submarine? If true you will have the whole of West/Central and maybe East Africa worried about Nigeria’S hegemonic intentions. One Diesel electric submit super quiet with Torpedoes will effective render obsolete the Navies of Cameroon,Ghana and a Equatorial Guinea, 2 diesel subs will make make our peers adopt a doctrine where their capital ships remain anchored at the Dock, even if a hot war us on, I reckon we’ve trained enough crews for 5 Subs?..

    • majorohis says:

      I have heard from some channels that a submarine is in the picture and some training of submariners . Lets see how accurate the information is.

  26. xnur44 says:

    Nigeria order for two (2) 24m patrol boats with SSM & short range SAM launchers and two (2) 35m patrol boats with SSM & short range SAM launchers. These four boats will also be equipped with 30mm & 12.7mm guns.

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