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Nigerian Navy inaugurates Falcon Eye surveillance system

The Nigerian Navy's Falcon Eye maritime surveillance system was officially inaugurated on 13 July.

The system has been under development since 2014, with the Eastern Regional Command and Control Centre commissioned at the naval base in Calabar in 2017.

According to RTCom Nigeria Limited, the company implementing the project, it consists of over-the-horizon radars with a range of 200 n miles, long-range electro-optical systems with a range of 30 n miles, and automatic identification system (AIS) receivers. These are linked to three regional control centres and a network operations centre to provide real-time situational awareness of the country's waters.

The latest inauguration appeared to be for the overarching control facility at Naval Headquarters in Abuja. Television coverage showed the guests inspecting a new command-and-control centre with television screens filling most of one wall, which was faced by at least a dozen individual workstations for monitoring the sensors.

โ€œThis will enable the Nigerian Navy to generate a comprehensive intelligence picture of activities within our maritime environment for further analysis before, in appropriate cases, dispatching a Nigerian Navy ship for interdiction, investigation, and/or subsequent arrest of erring vessels,โ€ Nigerian Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said in a speech he gave on behalf of the president.

Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, chief of the naval staff, said Falcon Eye had already facilitated the seizure of 70 tankers carrying stolen oil valued at USD1 billion and 30 vessels engaged in illegal fishing, as well as 30 pirates and 500 suspected smugglers.

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