The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla has launched a High Endurance Offshore Patrol Vessels (HE OPVs) for the Nigerian Navy at the Dearsan Shipyard, Tuzla in Istanbul, Turkey.
This was contained in a statement by the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, on Sunday in Abuja.
Ayo-Vaughan said the vessel is one of two 76m HE OPV awarded to be constructed by Dearsan Shipyard on Nov. 3, 2021, while actual construction began on Sept. 16, 2022.
The CNS, Vice Adm. Ogalla said the vessels were meant to add to the fleet of the Nigerian Navy and enhance its capacity in the protection of Nigeria’s maritime domain.
“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.
“Additionally, the OPV would assist the NN in managing Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone, including provision of maritime security and effective disaster relief,” he said.
Ogalla thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support of the project and commitment to the recapitalization of the NN Fleet.
He said the federal government was committed to its obligations towards the successful completion of the two OPVs.
The CNS appreciated the Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey, the Nigerian Defence Adviser, Dearsan Shipyard, the Nigerian Navy Project Control Team in Turkey and others for their various contributions.
“Following this giant step of the launching ceremony of the first 76m HE OPV P203, it is expected that all the ship’s installations would be fixed, connected, and worked between January and 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,” he said.
The CNS expressed satisfaction with the commitment of Dearsan Shipyard towards timely delivery of the two HE OPVs and sustaining the mutually beneficial cooperation between Nigeria and Turkey.