Naval News reports a contract has been reached for Turkish shipbuilder Dearsan to construct two offshore patrol vessels for the Nigerian Navy.
The OPV 76 is 78.6 meters long and 11 meters wide. The draft of the ship is 2.9 meters and the displacement is about 1200 tons. It can reach a top speed of 26 knots, and has a range of 3000 nautical miles with economical speed. The ship can be operated by a crew of 46.
These are pretty close to what I envisioned as Cutter X, but with more weapons.
They are attractive little ships, and better armed than most. You can see the 76mm gun on the bow. The 40mm gun is sited on the aft end of the superstructure. MBDA Simbad RC launch systems for Mistral short range surface to air missiles are positioned on the starboard aft and port forward corners of the superstructure. .50 caliber machine guns mounted in remote operating stations occupy the other two corners.
If my research is correct, the four diesel engines will provide at least 16,000 HP (12,000 kW).
I don’t see davits, so I presume it will have a stern ramp for launching boats. The flight deck appears to be raised enough to allow “garage” space for boats and perhaps other systems.
None of the photos provide a good view from aft looking forward, but it appears unlikely to include a hangar for an embarked helo. There might be room for a UAS hangar.
Within the context of Nigeria’s neighborhood, the Gulf of Guinea, these will be seen as relatively powerful warships. They will join two former USCG 378s and two Chinese built corvettes as the principle combatants of the Nigerian Navy. The area has had a history of piracy and maritime robbery, but Nigeria has been making progress in curbing the problem. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, a nation with huge potential, and it has demonstrated regional leadership in participating in UN peacekeeping missions. The US Coast Guard has been making an effort to help, and it appears to paying off.
I see that the Nigerian Navy also operates four former USCG 180 foot buoy tenders.
I cutter about this size outfitted similarly to the FRCs makes sense.
The better sea keeping, endurance and habitability achievable with the larger hull surely would bring advantage.
The larger hull would also provide growth margin for installed equipment should that ever become advantageous.
Lastly the larger hull would be a better platform for UAV or at least lillypad helicopter operations.
We are going to have a lot of FRCs. The question is if there is room in the fleet mix for something that slots in between the FRCs and the mutch larger OPC.
The Cutter X concept may be the best way to cost-effectively enhance Coast Guard capabilities and better position it for operations in the Pacific.
Turkey is moving up in the world of shipbuilding, after many years of cooperation with foreign yards. It’s a model that several countries are using to become independent of the major (European) yards. What will be interesting to see is their long term build quality and maintenance requirements vs. the West.
This particular design is quite complete in terms of weaponry, but I’m unsure of the CMS to be used. Most likely Turkey offered an indigenous system they’ve developed as opposed to a French, Italian, Dutch or British system typically used in a vessel of this size.
I’m still a fan of the OPC, just wished it had a bit more armament (say 2 more remote-weapons systems, a hull-mounted sonar, provision for 2 twin or triple Mk32 torpedo tubes, and a provision for Phalanx/SeaRAM), a better combat system (COMBATSS-21), and a higher top speed 25 vs 22 knots.
For meeting Coast Guard peacetime needs, the OPC is quite good. With upgrades it could make meaningful contributions to the national defense. The FRC is proving better than expected at dealing with the offshore environment. The OPC specs called for an objective of 25 knots and a threshold of 22. We wanted 25, that should have been the threshold.
Pingback: “Turkish Dearsan Lays Keel Of First Of Two OPVs For Nigeria” –Naval News | Chuck Hill's CG Blog