African customers have ordered patrol boats that have been built by Vietnamese shipyards, the country's Tuổi Trẻ newspaper reported on 2 January.
The story and accompanying video focused on the delivery of 50 patrol boats that had been ordered by an unidentified billionaire and showed several small craft being loaded onto a cargo ship for delivery to Port Harcourt in Nigeria.
More significantly, Tuổi Trẻ also reported that 10 "armoured patrol boats" were awaiting delivery for unidentified African customers and showed them lined up at a location that could be identified as the Hong Ha Shipbuilding Company facility in Haiphong.
The boats appeared to be similar to the 17 m Manta fast patrol boat/interceptor craft made by the Malaysian company Suncraft.
The Manta is also advertised by Vietnam's Haiphong-based 189 Shipbuilding Company (Z189).
The boats seen at the Hong Ha facility were unarmed but fitted with weapon mounting points in their bow compartments, as well small electro-optical systems made by the US company FLIR.
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