Sri Lanka Delivers Gunboats To Nigeria In First International Defence Sale
Our Bureau
08:45 AM, August 24, 2016
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Sri Lankan Patrol boat
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The Nigerian Navy has received 30 home-grown and nine Sri Lankan gunboats and has also unveiled a home-made 38 meter patrol vessel.

The Nigerian Navy commissioned all the gunboats in a ceremony on 17 August, Defence Web reported.

The 30 gunboats, which are 8.2 metres long, were built by the Epenal Boat Yard in Port Harcourt. Officials said they would be used to patrol the Niger Delta. The vessels displayed last Wednesday appear to be armed with ST Kinetics 40AGL automatic grenade launchers, Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Danjuma Sheni was quoted as saying by the news website.

Sheni said another 20 of the locally built gunboats would be delivered to the Nigerian Navy.

Nine of the boats were earlier acquired second hand from Sri Lanka for $4.2 million. They were handed over on 6 May in a ceremony in Sri Lanka. According to the Sri Lankan Navy, six Arrow class boats and three Wave Rider class boats were handed over in what the Navy said was its first international defence sale.

The 14.5 metre long and 3.5 metre wide inshore patrol craft are powered by two 350 HP engines. They are equipped with a radar system, GPS and electronic compass. The contract included training for Nigerian personnel in Sri Lanka.

In addition to the smaller gunboats, the Nigerian Navy will receive a locally built patrol boat, which was apparently also commissioned last week. NNS Karaduwa is the second Seaward Defence Boat to be built in Nigeria and is 38.9 metres long.

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