Damen Shipyards Sharjah in the UAE has officially marked the start of construction on the Nigerian Navy’s LST 100 landing craft with a keel-laying ceremony.

The ceremony was witnessed by Nigeria chief of naval staff, vice-admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas.

LST 100 is expected to be completed and scheduled for delivery by 2022.

The 100m-long LST has been designed to be able to perform a range of operations from the transportation of troops and equipment to humanitarian purposes.

The vessel will be used to provide assistance during evacuation operations and disaster relief.

Ibok-Ete Ibas said: “Today’s ceremony is a significant step towards actualising the dream of restoring the Nigerian Navy’s sealift capability.

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“The selection of Damen was based on the track record of high-quality shipbuilding capacity, engineering, as well as the belief in the company’s ability to adhere to the timelines for the delivery of the ship. As we say in the Nigerian Navy, ‘onward together’.”

LST 100 has the capacity to house a crew of 32 people along with 16 Embarked Marine Forces (EMF) in the deckhouse.

The midship below the main deck has an additional arrangement to accommodate 234 pax EMF.

The roll-on-roll-off landing craft has a dedicated space allocated for a helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) landing deck.

It also has significant cargo space and is equipped with 25t main crane.

With a deadweight of 1,300t, the vessel is capable of unmanned underwater vehicle / unmanned surface vehicle (UUV/USV) deployment.