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Nigerian Navy Launches Two New Patrol Ship In Istanbul

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The first of the Nigerian Navy’s 2 x 76m, 1200 Tons High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (HE OPVs) was formally launched at the Dearsan Shipyard, Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey on October 26, 2023.

Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, performed the launching ceremony of the newly built HE OPV P203.

Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore AO Ayo-Vaughan, who made this known in a statement on Sunday, recalled that the NN signed a contract with Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey for the construction of 2 units of 76m HE OPV on 3 November 2021 and the Keel Laying Ceremony of the 2 ships which signified the commencement of their construction took place on 16 September 2022.

According to him, “the CNS therefore noted that the Launching Ceremony of the first HE OPV P203 marks yet another important milestone in their construction, having progressed significantly through a very well-planned and executed design and construction process.”

While reminding dignitaries on the import of launching ceremony of a naval vessel, Vice Admiral Ogalla said that the launching of a naval ship was an age-long tradition which signifies the birth of the ship.

The statement also quoted Vice Admiral Ogalla to have said: “today’s ceremony is, therefore, a solemn one in which the ship is dedicated and committed to the sea, while also praying for blessings of good fortune for the ship, its crew and its passengers.”

“These ships when fully completed and commissioned into the Service of the NN, would complement and further sustain the efforts of the Fleet in ensuring naval presence at sea. This would help to curb the menace of oil theft and other illegalities in Nigeria’s maritime environment in particular and the Gulf of Guinea in general.

“The OPV would assist the NN in managing Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone, including provision of maritime security of areas and effective disaster relief.”

The CNS used the opportunity to thank President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his support to the project and commitment to the recapitalization of the NN Fleet.

He categorically re-iterated that the Federal Government of Nigeria was highly committed to its obligations towards the successful completion of the 2 OPVs, just he appreciated the Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey, the Nigerian Defence Adviser to Ankara, Dearsan Shipyard, the Nigerian Navy Project Control Team resident in Turkey and other invited guests for their various positive contributions towards making the project and launching ceremony a reality and success.

The statement further disclosed that following the formal launch of the first 76m HE OPV P203, “it is expected that all the ship’s installations would be fixed, connected and worked between January – May 2024.”

“Other expectations include conducting harbour acceptance test for the ship between July – August 2024 and delivery of the ship in August 2024 or September 2024.

“It is also planned that the launching ceremony of the second 76m HE OPVP 204 will hold in February 2024 at the Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey,” it added.

Commodore Ayo-Vaughan further noted that the occasion of the launching ceremony of HE OPV P203 further buttressed the resolve of the Dearsan Shipyard in ensuring timely delivery of the 2 HE OPVs to NN and sustaining the mutually beneficial cooperation between the Governments of Nigeria and Turkey.

The memorable Launching Ceremony of the magnificent ship was witnessed by very important dignitaries such as the Chief Executive Officer of Dearsan Shipyard – Murat Gordi, the Vice President of Turkish Defence Industry – Gokhan Ucar and the Turkish Commander Military Shipyards, Istanbul – Rear Admiral Recep Erdinc Yetkin.

Others present at the event were the Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey represented by Alhaji Ado Yakassai, some Principal Staff Officers and directors from Naval Headquarters in the Chief of the Naval Staff entourage; R Adm KG Levi, Cdre OA Adeleke, Cdre BH Sabo, Cdre OO Olukoya and Cdre AC Uko as well as the Nigerian Defence Adviser, Turkiye, Brig Gen ML Abubakar.

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