A computer-generated image of the Dearsan OPV 76 offshore patrol vessel. (Dearsan Shipyard)
The Nigerian Navy signed a contract with the Turkish shipyard Dearsan covering the delivery of two new 76 m offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) on 3 November.
It released a video of the signing ceremony during which Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said the order is a milestone in achieving the navy's 2021–2030 strategic plan. He described the OPVs as high-endurance vessels capable of maritime interdiction, surveillance, special forces operations, search and rescue, disaster relief, and providing fire support to land forces.
“Dearsan Shipyard was selected based on its track record and the conviction that the shipyard would be able to construct a platform that could be deployed as an OPV in peacetime, while having the capability and flexibility to be quickly outfitted with sensors and weapons to re-role the platform for warfare and maritime defence purposes at a cost-effective price,” he said.
The Nigerian media reported that both OPVs are expected to be delivered within 37 months.
In a statement, Dearsan said the ships will be based on its OPV 76 design, configured according to Nigeria's requirements, built entirely at the shipyard's facilities, and equipped with Turkish systems.
When contacted by
, Dearson provided specifications for the Nigerian ships that were slightly larger than the ones listed on its website for the OPV 76. While their length remains the same at 76.8 m, they will have a beam of 12 m rather than 11 m, a draft of 3.3 m rather than 2.9 m, a displacement of 1,250 tonnes rather than the 1,100 tonnes, and a crew of 47 rather than 43.