Navy launches  offshore patrol vessel to boost  maritime security


In accordance with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda, Her Excellency, the First Lady of Nigeria Senator (Dr) Oluremi Tinubu  has launched the second 76meter High Endurance (HE) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) built for the Nigerian Navy (NN) in DEARSAN Shipyard Turkey,  on Friday .

It should be recalled that the first OPV built by DEARSAN Shipyard was launched on 26 October 2023. The launch was graced by the  Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Muhammed Matawalle, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, the Charge D’Affair Nigerian Embassy Turkey, Ambassador Zayyad Habu Abdulsalam and other dignitaries.

The launch of the 76meter HE – OPV marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s commitment to safeguarding her territorial waters and combating maritime threats.

Speaking at the event, V ice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla noted that the construction of the 2 x OPVs commenced in 2022.

National growth LS

According to him, “DEARSAN Shipyard is constructing 2 OPVs for the NN and the first OPV was launched here on 26 October 2023. I am particularly pleased that the milestones on the vessel construction have been met and I hereby appreciate the management of DEARSAN Shipyard for their efforts so far”.

He explained that the general specifications of the newly launched OPV are as follows; Length – 76.90m,
Width – 11.90m, Draught – 3.60m, Speed – 28knots, Propulsion System – Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD), Range – 2500nm, Endurance – 16 days,  Crew Capacity – 47. 

The  CNS  noted that the construction of the vessel will boost NN fleet renewal efforts for fulfilment of her constitutional mandate and ensure maximum presence at sea to curb illicit acts such as oil theft, piracy, sea robbery, illegal fishery as well as smuggling of Small Arms and Light Weapons among other crimes in the vast 84,000sqnm of Nigeria’s maritime environment. I
“t will also facilitate harnessing the enormous potentials within Nigeria’s maritime domain in support of FG’s Blue Economy initiatives,” he said.

The CNS expressed sincere gratitude to the President, Bola Tinubu for his support towards ensuring the completion of the construction of the OPVs and his commitment to NN fleet renewal aspirations.

He also extended his appreciation to the Special Guest of Honour the First Lady of Nigeria Senator (Dr) Oluremi Tinubu for accepting the invitation to perform the age long naval tradition of launching a ship into water for the first time, a role often reserved for female leaders.

By Chimezie Godfrey

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