First Lady Launches Nigerian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel 

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The First Lady, Senator (Dr) Oluremi Tinubu over the weekend, performed the official launch of the second 76meter High Endurance (HE) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) built for the Nigerian Navy (NN) in DEARSAN Shipyard Turkey.

The launch was in accordance with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda.

It should be recalled that the first OPV built by DEARSAN Shipyard was launched on October 26, 2023.

 The launch was graced by the Minister of State for Defence, Dr Bello Muhammed Matawalle, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, the Charge D’Affair Nigerian Embassy Turkey, Ambassador Zayyad Habu Abdulsalam and other dignitaries.

The launch of the 76meter HE – OPV marks a significant milestone in Nigeria’s commitment to safeguarding her territorial waters and combating maritime threats.

Speaking at the event, V Adm EI Ogalla noted that the construction of the 2 x OPVs commenced in 2022.

According to him, “DEARSAN Shipyard is constructing two (2) OPVs for the NN and the first OPV was launched here on October 26, 2023. I am particularly pleased that the milestones on the vessel construction have been met and I hereby appreciate the management of DEARSAN Shipyard for their efforts so far”.

The general specifications of the newly launched OPV are as follows: Length – 76.90m; Width – 11.90m; Draught – 3.60m;

Speed – 28knots; Propulsion System – Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD); Range – 2500nm; Endurance – 16 days;

Crew Capacity – 47.

He said the construction of the vessel will boost NN fleet renewal efforts for fulfillment of her constitutional mandate and ensure maximum presence at sea to curb illicit acts such as oil theft, piracy, sea robbery, illegal fishery as well as smuggling of Small Arms and Light Weapons among other crimes in the vast 84,000sqnm of Nigeria’s maritime environment.

“It will also facilitate harnessing the enormous potential within Nigeria’s maritime domain in support of federal government’s Blue Economy initiatives,” the CNS said.

The CNS expressed sincere gratitude to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for his support towards ensuring the completion of the construction of the OPVs and his commitment to NN fleet renewal aspirations.

He also extended his appreciation to the Special Guest of Honour the First Lady of Nigeria Senator (Dr) Oluremi Tinubu for accepting the invitation to perform the age long naval tradition of launching a ship into water for the first time, a role often reserved for female leaders.

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