Nigeria’s Minister of Defence retired Major General Bashir Magashi on Friday performed the keel laying ceremony for two high endurance offshore patrol vessels at Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey.
The keel laying ceremony comes about 10 months after the Nigerian Navy signed a contract with Dearsan Shipyard, Turkey for the construction of the vessels.
“Signing of the contract did not only represent the commitment of the Nigerian government to improve the operational effectiveness of the Nigerian Navy but also serves to strengthen the strategic alliances between Nigeria and Turkey. The keel laying ceremony thus signifies the formal start of the ships’ construction,” Magashi said.
Also speaking at the event, the Nigerian Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, said, “The high endurance offshore patrol vessels are configured in line with the Nigerian Navy requirements, which are designed and built entirely in the shipyard’s facilities and will be equipped with modern systems.
“The OPVs will be capable of conducting Search and Rescue operations, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations as well as disaster relief operations among others. The vessels will be deployed to project naval power within the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), contribute significantly to enhancing global maritime commerce, deterring oil theft and ensuring secure seas for exploration and exploitation of Nigeria’s maritime and hydrocarbon resources.”
Gambo said the two vessels are expected to be completed within 37 months from the date of signing the contract.
The keel laying ceremony was witnessed by the Nigeria Ambassador to Turkey, Ismail Abba Yusuf, and the Turkish Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Ercument Tatlioglu, among others.
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