By Kingsley Nwezeh
French Ship builder, Ocea, has announced the delivery of a patrol vessel, C-Falcon, to the Nigerian Navy.
It said the first of four C-Falcon interceptors was delivered to the Nigerian navy after sea trials were conducted.
The company said the delivery of three more vessels would follow suit.
Ocea said the C-Falcon Interceptor is designed for escort, patrol and offensive missions, including boarding operations and personnel insertion.
The C-Falcon is 14.6 metres long and 3.6 metres wide, and can reach a top speed of 45 to 55 knots with a range of 260 miles at 25 knots. It has a crew of four.
According to Mer et Marine, Nigeria’s vessels would be 17 metres long and equipped with two hydrojets.
They would be able to carry 16 commandos under the bridge. A ramp at the front would allow for beach landings, Defence Web reports.
Ocea in October 2020 said the C-Falcon delivery followed the supply of numerous vessels to Nigeria over the last eight years, including one FPB 98 Mk I patrol vessel, eight FPB 72 Mk II and two FPB 110 Mk II patrol vessels.
It also won three tenders for two additional FPB 110 boats, one OSV 190 SC-WB and four C-Falcon vessels, adding that two additional 35 metres FPB 110 boats would be delivered by year-end.
The C-Falcon can be fitted with a remotely operated machinegun turret
Ocea on September 24, 2020, launched the 60 metres OSV 190 hydrographic survey vessel for the Nigerian navy, the Lana, two years after the contract was placed.
The new vessel was conceived as a replacement for the Nigerian navy survey vessel, NNS Lana, which was decommissioned about 10 years ago. Construction began in 2018, with the Lana expected to join the Nigerian navy fleet in 2021.
The Ocea OSV 190 SC-WB design would allow for coastal and deep sea scientific research and studies (hydrography, oceanography), fishing control, surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone, assistance and supplies to other boats as well as the towing of ships, Ocea said.
Around seven years ago, Ocea unveiled a range of patrol boats including the C-Falcon, 21 metres C-Heron and 25 metres C-Sword.
“Thanks to the continuous integrated logistic support Ocea has implemented for the Nigerian navy, the fleet is daily on operation to the full satisfaction of the customer,” a naval official said.