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The Nigerian Navy (NN) has announced the launching of a new Landing Ship Tank (LST) at Damen Shipyard, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
This announcement was contained in a statement available to newsmen in Abuja by Nigerian Navy Spokesman, Commodore Suleman Dahun, on behalf of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo.
He stated that the construction of the ship began about two years ago and when commissioned, would replace the first set of LSTs of the NN, NNS AMBE, and NNS OFIOM which have been decommissioned.
The statement further said the introduction of the LST to the NN inventory would bolster NN sealift capability.
According to the statement, ‘the LST will enhance the transportation of troops, military hardware, vehicles in the conduct of maritime security operations launched from the sea as well as supply of relief material during the period of national emergency.
‘The vessel will serve as a critical component of naval power projection for enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond.
“In its secondary role, the LST will play a critical role in the protection of maritime assets and preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to the promotion of global maritime commerce, peace and safety.
“The new LST has a complement of 32 crew and 250 embarked persons and a length of 100.08m. She is powered by 2 Caterpillar/Cat 3516 C-rating engines and 4 Caterpillar C-18 generators.
“Furthermore, she has an endurance of 15 days @ 15 knots. If she is to be used for humanitarian missions/evacuation, she can accommodate over 450 persons on its upper and lower decks in short trips.”
Africa Daily News, New York understands that the bid opening process for the procurement of the LST was held on 19 December 2017 and supervised/conducted by a team from the Bureau of Public Procurement as well as a technical committee of the Nigerian Navy.
The shipbuilding companies that participated were Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, Anadolu Deniz of Turkey, and Indian Shipyards GOA of India.
Damen Shipyards is one of the biggest multinational shipbuilding groups in the world, operating more than 50 shipbuilding and repair yards worldwide.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK