The Nigerian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Cross River State has taken delivery of a new warship, in a bid to enhance its fight against sea piracy and other maritime crimes.
Named NNS Centenary, the new vessel is one of the two P18N offshore patrol vessels (OPV) acquired from China under a contract signed in April 2012.
Launched in 2014, the new vessel was commissioned by the navy in February, along with three other warships.
Chief of Naval Staff vice-admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas was quoted by ngrguardiannews.com as saying: "The bulk of resources that bring development come from the sea; the essence of the new ship is to reinforce our presence in the Eastern flank of the nation’s maritime space.
"The new ship is capable of staying at sea for two weeks. It is no longer going to be business as usual for the bad guys at sea."
The 95m-long and 12.2m-wide P18N OPVs have a displacement of 1,700t and the vessel will be able to stay at sea for 20 days.
Powered by two MTU 20V 4000M diesel engines, the vessels will be capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 21k.
Features of the vessels include a TR47 tracking radar, SR60 surveillance radar, navigation radar, PJ46 decoy launchers, communication antennas under radomes, and UHF / VHF radios.
In addition, the OPVs will be able to accommodate a Z-9 helicopter and will be equipped with a H/PJ26 76mm main gun mount and two H/PJ14 30mm gun mounts.