Dearsan Shipyard in Turkey has officially started the construction of the Nigerian Navy’s two high endurance offshore patrol vessels (HE OPVs).

It was marked by a keel laying ceremony held at the shipyard on 16 September.

The 76m-long OPVs were authenticated by Nigerian Defence Minister major general (retired) Bashir Salihi Magashi and Nigerian Chief of the Naval Staff vice admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo.

In a report by The Guardian, Gambo said that the two OPVs, once constructed, will be capable of performing various missions, including search and rescue (SAR), disaster relief missions, anti-smuggling and anti-drug trafficking operations.

The report quoted a statement from AZ Gambo: “The HE OPVs, 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 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.”

In November last year, Turkish shipbuilder Dearsan Shipyard was awarded a contract from the Nigerian Navy to construct two OPVs in a period of three years. 

According to the company, the OPV 76 selected by the Nigerian Navy was a vessel that offers speed of up to 28k and can accommodate a crew of around 43 personnel.

Last year, the Nigerian Navy’s landing ship transport (LST) 100 was launched by Damen Shipyards.