The Nigerian Navy commissioned six new Ocea fast patrol boats during an official ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos on 3 September.
The patrol boats include two FPB 110 MKII hulls – Nguru (P 187) and Ekulu (P 188) – and four smaller FPB 72 MKII hulls – Shiroro (P 185), Ose (P 186), Gongola (P 189), and Calabar (P 190). All vessels were delivered between late 2017 and April 2018.
The FPB 72 hulls seen in the commissioning ceremony appeared to be fitted with a single pintle-mounted Chinese-made 12.7 mm heavy machine gun on the foredeck, while the FPB 110s have two additional guns mounted behind their bridges.
Both types can launch and recover a rigid-hull inflatable boat (RHIB). For this purpose, the Nigerian Navy also commissioned 10 RHIBs during the 4 September ceremony. The boats appear to comprise a mix of Guardian 8.5 m and 9.5 m designs supplied by South African boat builder Nautic Africa. The outboard-powered RHIBs have ballistic protection and are armed with a single pintle-mounted machine gun similar to those on the Ocea patrol craft.
The Nigerian Navy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete Ibas, said the service has inducted more than 200 small craft (gunboats in Nigerian Navy parlance) in the past two years, with the vast majority being built by local boat builders including Epenal and John Holt. He added that the Naval Dockyard in Lagos is on course for the delivery of a 42 m Seaward Defence Boat.
Speaking to Jane’s, the Nigerian Navy’s Director of Information, Commodore Ayo Olugbode, said the new acquisitions will boost the navy’s capability to tackle a range of maritime security threats within Nigeria’s exclusive economic zone. The new vessels are part of the service’s ongoing recapitalisation and capacity-building efforts, which include platform sourcing from overseas and local shipyards.
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