Say Hello to the Largest and Most Powerful Navy in Sub Sahara Africa

The Nigerian Navy is the largest Navy in Sub Sahara Africa in terms of personnel and second only to the South African Navy in terms of tonnage. The Nigerian Navy has more tonnage than the combined navies of East and West African countries combined.

The fleet consists of roughly 110 ships in active service, consisting of 4 Frigates and 93 Patrol Craft. The vessels run the gamut from NNS Thunder, which is the ship with the longest endurance in Africa, able to circumvent the continent without needing to refuel and sailing as far out as Australia, the only warship in Africa to have ever ventured so far from its home port, to the largest coastal patrol craft fleet in Africa that slithers around hundreds of creeks in the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea.

Perhaps the biggest props to the Nigerian Navy is its Merchant Marine, with a strength of about 600 ships.

These are all the commissioned ships of every size as of 2018

NNS Thunder F90

Flagship of the Nigerian Navy, the ship was designed as a high endurance cutter. Her crossing range of 9,600 nautical miles (17,800 km) at 20 knots (40 km/h), and 80-foot (24 m) flight deck, capable of handling both Coast Guard and Navy helicopters, make the Chase an ideal platform for extended patrol missions.

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NNS Thunder
Hamilton Class frigate NNS Thunder at anchor in Jervis Bay to prepare for the transit to Sydney for the International Fleet Review.
Nigerian Navy flagship NNS Thunder at anchor in Jervis Bay to prepare for the transit to Sydney for the International Fleet Review.

NNS Okpabana F93.

Of the same class of ship as NNS Thunder, the ship, formerly USS Galatin served with the United States Coast Guard until 31 March 2014, when she was decommissioned. On 7 May, she was transferred to the Nigerian Navy and renamed Okpabana.

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NNS Okpabana passing through Eko Atlantic.
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NNS Okpabana paroling Nigeria’s EEZ in the Gulf of Guinea.
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NNS Okpabana flanked by two other Nigerian warships on patrol along Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic zone.
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Multi national exercise in Gulf of Guinea. Obangame Express 2015.

NNS Unity F92 and NNS Centenary F91

Two of Nigeria’s newest warships, NNS Unity and NNS Centenary  Type 056 (NATO reporting name: Jiangdao) are a Stealth Patrol Corvette built by China. This vessel is one of the most advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels in the world. It is 90 metres long, displaces 1800 tons, and incorporates anti-radar features.

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NNS Unity F92.

They are perfectly suited for mid-range missions and littoral duties, but not for major blue-water combat operations, as unlike NNS Thunder that can circumvent Africa in one stretch,  NNS Unity and Centenary is built with a 15-day endurance for combat missions such as patrol, escort and protection of Nigeria’s EEZ maritime interests within 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) from the coast. The Nigerian Navy acquired two Stealth Offshore Patrol Vessels to free up larger warships for open ocean deployment.

Crew of 78 people

top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h),

range of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km) at 16 knots (30 km/h)

 

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NNS Centenary F91 in South African waters.
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NNS Centenary F91 in South African waters.

COASTAL PATROL CRAFTS

NNS Karaduwa F102

NNS Karaduwa was built by the Nigerian Navy and commissioned into service in 2016. The commissioning of NNS Karaduwa was a major milestone reached by the Nigerian Navy. It represented Nigeria s attempt at self sufficiency and domestic construction of warships.

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Shaldag Patrog Craft

NNS Kynwa (A 501)

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NNS Ayam and NNS Ekpe (Missile Crafts)

Damian Stealth FCS 3307 Patrol Boat

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NNS Prosperity F87

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NNS Ambe (Landing craft)

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NIGERIAN NAVY AVIATION

Augusta Westland Helicopter

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RECONNAISSANCE, COMMAND & CONTROL

ATR-42 Maritime Patrol Plane

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An ATR-42 Maritime Patrol Plane leaving its aircraft hanger. It is the most technologically advanced surveillance aircraft in all of Africa. Originally acquired for the Nigerian Navy the ATR-42 is best known for its operation in northeast against Boko Haram. The Nigerian Air Force leases it from the Nigerian Navy for surveillance and reconnaissance.
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Pilots run checklist for takeoff.
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ATR-42 conducts regular patrol mission along Nigeria’s EEZ in the Gulf of Guinea.
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At the heart of the ATR 42MP is the Airborne Tactical Observation and Surveillance System (ATOS), further strengthened by sophisticated navigation and communications systems. The Surveyor is also equipped with a flight-operable door (or, alternatively, a rear belly hatch) to drop emergency kits, large observation windows and fuselage pylons to carry a night searchlight or other equipment.
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This Italian built aircraft is endowed with built-in flexibility and multirole capabilities. Its main roles are maritime patrol for surface vessel search and identification, search and rescue (SAR), prevention of piracy, contraband and drug trafficking, environmental monitoring and intervention in case of ecological disaster (against oil or chemical spills), and territorial water security.
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The ATOS, designed and built by Leonardo’s Airborne & Space Systems Division, includes two operator stations and manages a sensor suite which comprises multi-mode radar, electro-optical IR turret, color and b/w cameras, Automatic Identification System (AIS), Direction Finder (DF) and video recording equipment. With its modular architecture, the ATOS allows the entire surveillance system to be easily tailored to specific customer requirements, for instance by integrating Electronic Support Measures (ESM) or other subsystems and sensors.

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FALCON EYE MARITIME SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM

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