18 February, 2015
This evening, the website of the Nigerian Navy published a photo of the NNS SAGBAMA, one of four warships to be commissioned into Nigerian naval service tomorrow.
Since then, opinions have varied as to whether or not the patrol craft is the Made-in-Nigeria 38 metre platform which has been under construction since 2012 or a new-build and enlarged derivative of the popular Chinese Type 062 Shanghai II design, constructed ‘secretly’ in China – ‘secretly’ because no official statement on her acquisition has ever been made by either Chinese or Nigerian defence officials.
But the ship is here and for real. So what is she and where did she spring from? Was she built at the recently modernised and expanded Nigerian Naval Shipyard by a joint team of Nigerian and Chinese engineers?
Personally, I am a big fan of the Type 62 and have even advocated for the design to be reverse engineered by NN architects and engineers.
On the one hand, this does look like the Damen Stan and I recall having read the Jane’s article on the Seychelloise Coast Guard and was rather surprised that the ship was a Type 062.
What do you make of this?
The truth is that the Type 062 Shanghai II gunboat, well armed with twin 37mm and twin 25mm cannons, was originally a 39m platform. However, many derivatives such as those built for the Ghana Navy and the Seychelles Coast Guard have either looked markedly different from the originally or been stretched out to 46.5m to allow for better crew facilities.
Some international naval aficionado, just sent this to me. He thinks the NNS Sagbama is a locally built ship.
So the matter is up in the air as it is,
Is the NNS Sagbama a modified and enlarged Type 062 Shanghai II gunboat or a Nigerian-built clone of same?