The Nigerian Navy began the construction of Nigeria’s latest Landing Ship Tank 100 with a keel-laying ceremony at Damen Shipyards, Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates on 9th December.
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, laid the keel of the Landing Ship Tank (LST 100) at Damen Shipyards Sharjah in the UAE.
The new vessel will replace the landing ships NNS Ambe and NNS Ofiom, which were decommissioned ten years ago. They were Type 502 amphibious vessels built by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Germany in 1978.
“Today’s ceremony is a significant step towards actualizing the dream of restoring the Nigerian Navy’s sea lift capability after the Service decommissioned two similar LSTs more than 10 years ago,” Ibas said.
“These vessels served the Navy meritoriously in the 1980s-90s, playing significant roles during the ECOMOG intervention Operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as other peace support operations in Lebanon.
“The Nigerian Navy’s acquisition of this LST 100 will certainly go a long way in filling the operational gap created by the decommissioning of the two Nigerian Navy ships. As you may be aware, the bid for this project was highly competitive, as several other shipbuilding companies tendered for her construction. Permit me, therefore, to congratulate Damen Shipyards on winning the bid for this project.”
Ibas pointed out that Damen Shipyards had already built two tugboats for the Nigerian Navy, the Dolphin Rima and Dolphin Mira, and these are still in service.
“The LST, when completed and delivered, is expected to play crucial roles in the security of Nigeria’s maritime environment and beyond,” Ibas said. “Specifically, the ship will be engaged in the protection of maritime resources and the preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to promotion of global maritime commerce and maritime power projection in Nigerian Maritime environment and the Gulf of Guinea at large.
“It is, therefore, my fervent belief that this Shipyard will complete the construction of the LST with all the attention and due diligence that it deserves, to rekindle our historic relationship and pave way for other areas of collaboration in the future.
“On this note, I would like to thank the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his untiring support for the rejuvenation of the NN fleet since assumption of office.”
LST 100 :
The 1300 ton LST 100 is 100 metres long, has a maximum speed of 16 knots and range at 15 knots of 4 000 nautical miles, with an endurance 15 days. A bow ramp allows for the direct transfer to and from beaches and is rated to 70 tonnes. The internal ramp is rated at 30 tonnes and the stern ramp 70 tonnes.
The vessel can carry two embarked LCVPs (landing craft, vehicle, personnel), a helicopter/UAV on the flight deck, unmanned undersea vehicles and miscellaneous cargo with a 25 ton deck crane. Crew is 18, but 27 additional personnel can be accommodated or 235 troops.
Photos of the ceremony released by the Nigerian Navy are shown below.