Pictured in front is the slightly larger and hangar-incorporating P18N stealth OPV, NNS UNITY F92 of the Nigerian Navy. Behind her is the BNS SHADHINOTA F111 of the Bangladesh Navy.

In a manner of speaking and being derived from the TYPE 056 design of stealth corvettes/OPVs. The Nigerian Navy’s P18N stealth OPVs, modified to incorporate hangars and weighing in at 1,800 tons, are the largest vessels of this family of ships.

NNS UNITY F92 (behind). Anchored in front of her is BNS PROTTOY F112, the second Type 056 being constructed for the Bangladesh Navy.


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. rka says:

    I hope they seriously think about adding missiles in the ASuW and AAW category as the out-fitting is being done at the Naval Dockyard in Port Harcourt.

    About time we restored this capability and this ship is the right one to begin with before eventually upgrading NNS Centenary. Not unless of course there are secret orders for missile armed Corvettes/Frigates. No sign of life from NNS Aradu at the moment unless told otherwise.

  2. beegeagle says:

    I really look to the day when that capability shall be restored to the NN. We must ensure multi-mission capability for any ships that come to hand. There is a reason why Bangladesh are mounting missiles even on ships which they primarily use as OPVs…

  3. drag_on says:

    Hopefully our boys were involved in the construction of the ship from day 1, and get to complete it here. It would be tremendous if that was the case. Let’s put another two on order with the second of these completely built by Nigerians from start to finish,with Chinese supervision. Then a final two ‘under Chinese supervision’ built here in Nigeria from start to finish. Moving from large corvettes to Full fledged 3000+ ton frigates should then be attempted.

  4. Henry says:

    I really don’t like they way things turned up for this second OPV. I had high hopes that a significant percentage would be done here in Nigeria. It seems like a complete ship already.

    I agree with Oga rka1, about time we restore missile capabilities on our vessels, and the P18N class ships are the perfect fit. However with Nigeria, i’m not going hold my breath.

    As for the Aradu, I don’t think that ship is coming back, the CNS comments on the Aradu, when Okpobana was launched makes for a truly depressing interpretation.

    All in All, 4 more ships in the P18N class should be our next objective.

    • Deway says:

      @Henry, you may not like what I will say but lets think it through: The navy should just sell the Aradu once and for all, so we know we for sure we don’t own a frigate. When people keep talking about the glory days of Aradu it gives an impression we still have a multipurpose frigate docked in Lagos when in fact we don’t. My opinion is that we sell that ship and we stare ourselves eyeball to eyeball and request for a new or fairly used frigate or upgrade the Hamilton cutters or P-18N series to frigate status. I wish the same for the alpha jets.

      • Henry says:

        “Deway, and you think i’m not in full support of what you have said?”……. i’m with you 100% sir. Aradu should be sold, we constantly hear government officials make political statements about re-fits, claims that never come to fruition.

  5. Tope says:

    There was a Report that Nigerian Navy Engineers have been in China since the building of the First Ship, the Talk of Completing the Second Ship in Nigeria is a Cover, I believe why Port Harcourt Shipyard is Upgraded is for Making of More Type of this Ship here in Nigeria as a Joint Venture.

  6. STARTREK says:

    PLS SIR Beeg what qualifies a ship to be called a frigate…. I ask this cos am told by a high up that NIGERIA already has five (pls note this is unconfirmed)

  7. jimmy says:

    Before you GO ballistic there are some things on this ship that prying eyes do not need to see.The out gone FOC of the Western Command R. Admiral Alade reiterated this at the commissioning of the NN Okpabana I believed Henry this speech was directed not just in gratitude to the Chinese but also at the American Left wing Establishment it is no coincidence.
    The Helicopter Hangar/ Helipad means one thing and one thing only eventually when we figure out that this is an immediate priority the NN shall acquire A Z-9 Harbin.
    Do not forget as we currently speak there are Nigerians undergoing training in China. I know it is Monday and over hear it is cloudy , however the Sun I believe is coming out of the Clouds in Nigeria lift your head up.

  8. beegeagle says:

    NNS ARADU is past her prime. Construction started in the late 1970s and she has not been upgraded even once.

    We should just go for a full-optioned Type 054A area defence frigate with her imperious VLS missiles. Pure carnage. US$275-300m kills it and we can get China EXIM to roll over the balance while we make a US$100 million down payment. We spread payment over fifteen convenient years.

    Once upon a time, NNS ARADU was the most powerful warship in Africa. That was the 1980s and 1990s. Now she is obsolescent and an expensive makeover is ill-advisable. Let us step up to higher ground…

    • jimmy says:

      Let me agree and disagree with you OGA BEEGS @ the same time 🙂
      Once upon a time We built the NN ARADU as the flagship/ signature Ship of Nigeria and She stood Alone NUMERO UNO at the time that was good no one laughed gleefully at any mishap at any of our misfortunes of Nigeria was content to help her suffering brothers and sisters out, however times have changed and Nigeria’s strategic interests have changed dramatically over the last 10 years (2001-20010)
      With regards to the proposed frigate Nigeria strategically should always have a sister ship just like now we have NN CENTENARY AND NN UNITY The first frigate will be built in China and its Second ship will be partially built with Technology transfer in Port Harcourt
      It makes sense when ARADU got holed up she became dry docked and hole vacuum was left in the ocean with no cost effective repairs were able to be done to her because there was no live model to see what was wrong.
      For such a fully armed Frigate we need two , we can spread the payments even over a lesser period say Ten years.
      I will be sad to see the ARADU go 😦

  9. Augustine says:

    Seconded Oga Beegs, NNS Aradu is due to final retirement and sale as is.

    Oga Deeway and Oga Henry are in agreement, I join them. Let Nigeria buy a missile armed warship as flagship, even if it is a stop gap measure second hand Type 054A frigate from China. Add one second hand Chinese Song class submarine.

    Germany killed NNS Aradu slowly between 1990 and 1999 with EU economic sanctions, the cost of refit and upgrade is now too high for a ship with zero stealth capability.

    It’s hard to mount missiles on F92 and F91 unless their P18N design is modified, the oil spill control and clean up tanks are located in the position of Anti-ship missiles, the 30mm guns are not radar guided auto CIWS….too many things out of place.

  10. jimmy says:

    No we killed it after 1999 we were no longer any sanctions from Germany.
    Oga Augustine DURING OBJ ‘S regime we should of had it repaired now it is tool late this essentially a digital analog ship to convert it to a fully integrated computer software compliant ship, the costs will be horrendous just for the NN ARADU to say hello to the NN CENTENARY TECHNOLOGY WISE let alone communicate operational orders.

    • Augustine says:

      Oga jimmy, OBJ had no big interest in weapons procurement or maintenance, he focused on economic and political development only.

      • jimmy says:

        He did that is the myth he played he hyped up to accepted by his friends in the west and the east, ASK OGA BEEGS, THERE ARE TWO TRANSACTIONS THAT COME TO MIND.
        Transaction #1 involved the NAF based on credible sources Nigeria was in deep conversations with IVAN to buy a Russian Aircraft which was supported by the NAF TOP BRASS OBJ nixed the deal to please the Chinese and lo we got the F-7N.
        Transaction #2 involved the UN . The UN dissatisfied with our Armour requested either we measure i.e by buying real tanks or pack up and go.We could of used that occasion to buy T-72s and have it partially paid for like what our Ghanian brethren our doing with the c-295 no instead he settled for a few polish armored carriers, GEJ has earned my wrath for being indecisive but let us a call a spade he has bought 10 ten what obj has, in reality BABA DIDN’T DO SHIT .Please understand IYABO AND GBENGA were telling the truth.

      • Are James says:

        You are partly wrong on OBJ. First of all, the rulling party generally has been very disappointing ‘re-defence procurement. These people can only think in dollars signs and they are in gov t for corporate interests, money and nothing else matters. Obj’s problem was one of parochial mind set, delusions of infallibility and lack of familiarity with modern technology.
        However the most creative raising of money for defence procurement was done during his regime. That event has now unfortunately turned the NNPC into an ATM and subsequent governments have serially abused that organization for extra budgetary funding.
        The theatre then was the ND and one should be empathetic to the dilemma that defence procurement guys had then. Gun boats, amphibious armoured vehicles and marine compliant chopper s were just niot being produced and delivered fast enough to permit a look at other areas of threats.
        Where you may be partly right about Obj’s defence planners was that they did not sit down to do a strategic survey of the region so they missed the steadily growing dangers coming from the Maghreb and the anarchy in Libya. So there was no good threat assessment.
        If they had done that we’ll enough they would have strengthened the airforce considerably and also tripled the armour corps orbat and maybe the special forces.
        Anyway recriminations don’t get a country anywhere. The issue of weaponry for the military has become a campaign issue. Never again are we going down this road, I am sure of it.

  11. jimmy says:


  12. Augustine says:

    Meanwhile, as Nigerian Navy begs and hungers for long range helicopter capability, the 2 AW101 helos that NAF received as VVIP transports have endurance of 6 hours each and a range of 1,300 km !

    Build an off-shore refueling and stop-over platform 350 km off our coast, and those helos will rule Gulf Of Guinea in emergency maritime security special duties.

  13. jimmy says:

    Please donate one of the HELICOPTERS that you recently received it can drop you off anywhere in Nigeria and on the same fuel of GAS help deliver ordinance and evacuate wounded soldiers, till we get the helicopters coming our way can the NAF borrow one of yours.

  14. STARTREK says:

    thanks oga beeg. and bharat i know better now

  15. pappy says:

    the seven helicopters i counted flying above my house this morning ontop relection matter don’t suggets them giving any of the choppers to the military.

    • Are James says:

      If I discover that they are using MOD military operations budget for these flights, I will curse somebody and it will catch the persons. LOL.

  16. drag_on says:

    I don’t think we should trash Aradu,that she is in a poor state should not undermine her capability. As we speak the Argentines are upgrading all five of her sister-ships with their own locally designed combat management system amongst others. Let’s not forget that the Argentines consider her class as Destroyers class.
    Every forum i have visited people have expressed shock and are impressed at the capability of Aradu, and don’t expect such armament for a 3600 ton ship,even to this day.
    You simply won’t see Frigates of this weight class, this heavily armed and capable of doing 30.5knots, because most frigates of this weight only have 1 turbine engine together with 2 diesel engines, or just 4x diesel. Aradu has two 2 Rolls-Royce TM3B gas turbines (power usually reserved for Destroyers).
    Combine her weight,engine power and Armaments and you will see she is on a class of her own.
    By her weight she is a frigate but by Armament and engine power a Destroyer.

    Concerning stealth, stealth is not a ship/aircraft but a system,to make Aradu stealthy all you need to do is to surround her with stealthy ships. A stealth Frigate “F”only needs to locate the enemy first. Aradu fires an Otomat Mk2BlK4 at the general direction of Frigate “F” which takes over control of the missile and directs it to the enemy ship without the enemy ever seeing Aradu.

    In Conclusion, Aradu was built as amongst the first(if not the first) modular fighting ships she just needs consistent, purposeful incremental upgrades.she shouldn’t by any means slow down acquisitions but she should be upgraded because she was designed for that.

  17. drag_on says:

    NNS CENTENARY is in port louis,Mauritius

    • Bharat says:

      Is she? That’s nice. India’s first ship built for export, CGS Barracuda built for Mauritius has been handed over to Mauritius Coast Guard and would also might have reached Port Louis. Though both haven’t been commissioned ( scheduled for late Jan.) It would be great if both held simple exercise with each other.

      CGS Barracuda

      Credit of pic with original uploader.

  18. drag_on says:

    A near sister to Argentina’s vessels is the Nigerian navy’s Aradu, ordered in 1977 as the world’s first warship with modular construction. This differs from the Argentine vessels in having Otomat Mk 2 SSMs, a single Lynx Mk 89 helicopter and a CODOG propulsion system. In 2003 the ship’s status was uncertain.
    CODOG: combined Diesel engine and Gas turbine.
    As i said,she is the worlds First modular Warship.

  19. asorockweb says:

    We can’t dismiss the NNS Aradu on account of age.

    NNS Thunder and her sister ship are decades older than the Aradu.

    Capabilities are usually forged during crisis or through pain and rigour.

    The Nigerian Navy needs to improve on ship building and maintenance capabilities, why not start with the NNS Aradu?

    Re-engine, re-fit, re-build; let’s go through the pain of resuscitating the NNS Aradu – the navy’s engineering capabilities will be better off for the effort.

    My 2 kobo.

    • Are James says:

      I suspect Aradu is one of those single-vendor capability kind of platforms. The amounts I am hearing for its revamp can only come from a company that knows Nigeria can’t go anywhere else. What you are suggesting I agree with. Let smart NN engineers form a project team around the phased revamp of the ship with plenty of local inputs thrown into it and local testing as well. For missiles, countermeasures and CIWS, maybe a turn key to an Asian company is the way to go.

      • giles says:

        the problem with Nigeria is that our leaders are shallow minded.the navy engineers can do the resuscitation if given d right tools, space and resources.

  20. Oje says:

    The relevance of the patriotic sentiments echoes in this blog is getting stupid and i am very angry right now. Our Oga Presido in Paris to pay condolence visit? are you kidding me? 2000 Nigerians were just slaughtered and our military is no fucking where to be fucking found. Our army repels Boko Haram we come on here jubilation like its D’dAY, Is the Nigerian army supposed to ”Repel” attacks or ”launch offensives” to rid of these demons once and for all. Technically speaking Boko Haram now controls the entire State of Borno and we have just 5 weeks to elections, this election period will see %50 of Nigeria’s infantry units dedicated to Abuja for security. If this onward Boko Haram march is not halted soon by the time these ”Beautiful Navy Ships” are retrofitted with ”missiles” there will be no ”Nigeria” left to defend her territorial waters..SUCH A STUPID FUCKING WASTE.

    To President Jonathan:

    Cancel or defer the General elections,direct the Chief of Staffs to mobilize %100 of our forces for full scale war, Boko Haram is a bigger threat to the existential security of Nigeria than Cameroon, MEND and France put together. Deploy 100,000 troops to the North East theater, deploy all Nigerian air force air assets to bases close to the theater of war, launch a 3 pronged assault with 30,000 troops each with air support from the Mi-35 Helicopters, Cameroonian BIR can mow down fleeing remnants trying to cross over, we do not need surgical air strikes against Boko Haram, it is a land war hence a compliment of MI-35 helicopters will be more than enough. This is not rocket science, why is Nigeria so in love with the FIRE BRIGADE APPROACH. What the fuck is the point maintaining a 150,000 standing army not to mention over 200,000 paramilitary personnel, 5 satellites in Space and a yearly defence budget now approaching the $8 billion mark if Boko Haram is allowed to expand unchecked. Boko Haram controls 20,000 square miles of Nigerian territories and 11 local government, thats the size of BELGIUM !!. The longer this takes the more difficult it will be for us to uproot them, they are digging deep and hard and preparing.

    • Are James says:

      Me I plead NOT GUILTY to all these pseudo patriotic mumbo jumbo and I keep well away from making comments when things get too mushy. The only thing I applaud is weaponry purchases. The war is not satisfactory by Nigeria’s established standards. We will get there but we must keep our demand high. I am not happy people in leadership are pushing another two years of Boko Haram fighting on Nigeria and nobody is asking why it should be dragging that long. Anybody, no matter how knowledgeable he pretends to be who accepts that timeline should put himself in the place of the victims.

  21. Augustine says:

    NNS Aradu : What does the cost of full refit and upgrade look like ?

    Personal opinion, figures are estimates only, but comparable with market prices.

    Some numbers rounded up to Sig. Fig.

    MTU diesel engines $20 m x 2 = $40 million

    Otomat missiles $1 m x 8 = $8 million

    Aspide missiles $0.5 m x 24 = $12 million

    Ordnance for 127mm and 40mm guns = $5 million

    Hull, deck, on board structural repairs, welding, some new steel plates, rust, full paint job, etc = $10 million

    Electrical and Electronics replacements = $5 million

    Two Radars, navigation and fire control = $5 million

    Torpedoes $0.5 m x 6 = $3 million

    ASW Hull Sonar = $3 million

    ECM, ECCM, jammers, chaff, flares = $5 million

    Consultancy and service fee to project contractor at 5% of costs = $5 million

    TOTAL cost = $100 million

    This does NOT include Anti-torpedo counter measures and Anti-Submarine helicopter, and a few extra missiles, if you add those you get extra cost of $50 million !!!

    Should Nigeria spend $150 million on NNS Aradu ?

    Why not buy one brand new enlarged version of Chinese Type 056 Stealth Light Frigate built to the bigger size of our stealth F92 P18N OPV, fully arm the ship as an ultra-modern guided missile multi-role light frigate, cost $120 million and add one anti-submarine helicopter for $20 million… cost $140 million, add $10 million for extra missiles/ordnance/spare parts, grand total is $150 million.

    • asorockweb says:

      You are pulling numbers out from a very dark place.

      Be reasonable.

      $US40million on the diesel engines?
      And why spend 10s of millions on missiles and ordinance?

      Engineering capacity and capability is essential for any navy that aspires to be a blue water navy.

      Here is a large ship that requires refit, why waste the opportunity?

      • Are James says:

        “Very dark place” indeed and the numbers are inflated for engines, missiles, ASW, ECM and ordnance. The big question is what happens to Aradu, do you then scuttle the ship because of revamp.costs?. There are systems on that ship no Chinese can give you including very classified EW equipment. I say find the money to do phased revamp and upgrade the weaponry, it is still the most powerful ship in Nigerian waters.

      • Augustine says:

        Oga asorockweb, instead of arguing without any data, why don’t you give us your own figures and make a useful point? It’s easy to sit on laptop for 5 minutes and run down something that took another person many hours to put together.

        My figures come from sources that I did now waste time writing out, you say I pull numbers from dark places, now oga asorockweb please pull out your own counter figures from places where there is light….go ahead.

        Please be bold enough to tell us the 2014 cost of 2 units brand new MTU diesel engines for NNS Aradu, then tell us the unit cost of all new missiles at 2014 prices, do your own full table of numbers and prove me wrong……I am waiting sir

  22. Oje says:

    You too, do you ever sleep?

  23. Oje says:

    Who are we fighting with these missiles? Boko Haram Navy?

  24. Oje says:

    Oga Augustine are you a contractor? Lol, your quotation suggests so.

    • Augustine says:

      Oga Oje….I dey laugh o !

      • Augustine says:

        Anyway, there are very cheap but powerful game changer advanced infantry equipment I could throw on the laps of Nigerian military in 7 days and help them win the war against Boko Haram and also help a lot when they decide to rescue Chibok girls.

        FG and DHQ never asked me, so wetin I go do but to sidon dey look?

  25. Okpa1 says:

    Good morning Guys
    I want to salute you all for the wonderful comments on how to improve and better equip our military.
    I do have a problem particularly with the NN long term plans in acquiring 3 x submarines.
    I don’t think we need this equipment for now and particularly the cost of running and maintaining this equipment is very high. Considering where we are coming from Its is my humble submission that we advise the NN to jettison such idea for now and concentrate on buying capital asset: 2 x Frigates, 2 additional OPVs to the incoming ones and also approaching the Chinese authority for the purchase 4 x of the Type 037-II Missile boats.
    For the refit of NNS Aradu, this should be discourage and we all know, we are better off buying 2 x new or 15 year old frigate, equipping it to our taste. Also, buying from the Chinese will afford us the opportunity of spare part availability for most our warships as they are basically made in China.
    What do you think guys?

    • Augustine says:

      Oga sir, you did not comment when guys were on this thread, most have spoken and moved to current topics. Our brothers like to strike while the iron is hot….like a blacksmith.

      Welcome Okpa1.

      Submarines, are the ultimate weapon platform in sea power, one lone submarine can sink a whole navy of 10 warships.

      One single South African navy submarine today will sink the entire Nigerian navy fleet of major ships in 24 hours, and the submarine will sail back home to Cape Town in peace.

      A navy without a good submarine is a weak and incomplete navy. Submarines were invented by oyinbo man for a reason and since World War II 1940s till today 2015 every navy in the world is afraid of enemy submarines, even American navy fears them !

      Nigeria can start with two submarines. possibly second hand cheap from China, the Song Class submarines for say $160 million each fairly used units.

      The price of the new submarine is the same as the price of a new Frigate warship.

      Effective defense and protection of a nation’s territorial integrity is not cheap, an freedom is not free of charge.

      Thanks bro.

  26. beegeagle says:

    Okpa1, please check your email

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