The Nigerian Navy and Turkish Dearson Shipyard on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would enhance its capability and reposition it for enhanced maritime security operations.
Specifically, the agreement is signed to refit and modernise Nigeria’s Flag Ship, the Navy Navy Ship ARADU, and for the supply of additional 57-meters Fast Attack Craft to support the remodelled frigate.
The 125.6-metre frigate is the largest in the Nigerian Navy Fleet and was commissioned as the Flag Ship in 1985. She is the only variant of the 5 MEKO 360 frigates built in Germany. The Ship has capabilities for anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. She is also carries a ship-borne helicopter for anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and enhanced surveillance/detection.
The Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Awaal Gambo, however regretted that the wear and tear associated with sustained use as well as the harsh operating environment has taken its toll on the edifice, limiting its operational capability.
He noted that the Navy got approval from the Federal Government of Nigeria through the standing Senate Committee on rehabilitation of Nigerian Navy Ship ARADU.
Speaking at the MoU signing event in Abuja, the Naval Chief enthused that the operationalisation of the two vessels will not only increase the Fleet of Ships but also reposition the Nigerian Navy for enhanced maritime security operations for socio-economic prosperity of Nigeria and Africa at large.
Gambo explained that the choice of partnering with Messrs Dearsan Shipyard is based on the company’s track record in high-quality ship building capability, adding that organisation is currently constructing 2 High Endurance 76 meters Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Nigerian Navy in Turkey.
“This Memorandum of Understanding is not just a piece of paper. It re-ignites partnership between both organisations in several ways, including but not limited to promoting synergy towards enhancing security as well as fostering operations and shipbuilding engagements that would enhance capability for the sustainable development of the Blue Economy for Nigeria’s prosperity”, he said.
In his remarks, the chairman Dearsan Shipyard, Mr Aziz Yildirim said due to the historical importance of NNS ARADU as being the flagship of the Nigerian Navy, the organisation have initiated surveys onboard the ship last year and finalized it during its latest visit to Lagos this week.
“Therefore, we would like to emphasize once again that we are highly honored for having this chance of being the prime contractor of NNS ARADU modernization”, he said.