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Dearsan starts construction of Nigerian OPVs

Computer-generated imagery of the two offshore patrol vessels ordered by the Nigerian Navy is seen in a still from a video released by Dearsan. (Dearsan Shipyard)

New details of the two offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) the Nigerian Navy ordered from Dearsan in November 2021 were revealed during a keel-laying ceremony held at the company's shipyard in Tuzla, Istanbul, on 16 September.

Dearsan said each OPV will be armed with one 40 mm Leonardo Oto Marlin gun, one 30 mm Aselsan Smash remotely operated weapons system (ROWS) on the rear of the superstructure, two 12.7 mm Aselsan Stamp ROWSs, and two manually controlled 12.7 mm machine guns.

The ships will be equipped with the Sair-2D X-band radar made by the Italian company Gem Elettronica. This radar is designed for both surface and air search and tracking, enabling the ships to provide guidance to helicopters.

Gem Elettronica will also provide its Electro-Optical Fire Control System (EOFCS), a compact and lightweight system with day and infrared cameras, as well as a laser rangefinder.

The OPVs will be the first African vessels fitted with the Havelsan Advent network-enabled combat management system. Havelsan will also provide its GVDS ship data distribution system to integrate the OPVs' systems.

Dearsan released new specifications for the ships during the keel-laying ceremony, saying they will have a length of 76.9 m, a beam of 11.9 m, a draught of 3.6 m, and a displacement of approximately 1,250 tonne.

They will be powered by four diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration with two controllable pitch propellers, giving them a maximum speed of 28 kt and a range of 2,500 n miles.

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