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Nigerian millitary misses out on global race for submarines


Nigerian Navy

Nigerian Navy

• Nation has none, targets 2021 for purchase
• U.S. tops list with 75, S’Africa has three

Nigeria is missing out in efforts by countries across the world to build and launch submarines to defend themselves against foreign aggression.

The Global Fire Power (GFP) ranking on submarine strength data through 2016 showed that 40 out of the 105 countries analysed currently have submarines. But Nigeria, which ranks 83, has no submarine yet, while South Africa came first in Africa with three.

According to the data, United States leads with 75 submarines, North Korea follows with 70, China has 68 and Russia came fourth with 60 submarines.

To make Nigeria launch itself into the comity of nations with submarine technology, the navy has commenced preparations to make the Federal Government purchase one between 2021 and 2022. But the current economic downturn may be an obstacle.

The Director of Information for the Nigerian Navy, Commodore Christian Ezekobe told The Guardian that Nigeria currently has no submarine but that a move to purchase one is part of the Revised Nigerian Navy Transformation Plan (R-NNTP).

“We were supposed to have it as early as 2021-2022 but you and I know that with the economic realities of today, that may not be feasible, but it is still in the pipeline,” he said.

But Ezekobe claimed that the lack of submarine power does not deter the navy from fully launching an offensive against any external aggression, saying they are well equipped with other combat ships and technologies that can serve that purpose.

“We have ships with underwater, surface and air capabilities. So, that is not a problem. More so, the trench within the region is key. You recall that we are a hegemon in this region of West Africa, so that is not a problem. But for national prestige and deterrence, we still need submarines in the future,” he said.

The global submarine payload and launch systems market is forecast to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.44 per cent between now and 2020.

A new report by Research and Markets tagged “Global Submarine Payload and Launch Systems 2016-2020” shows that many countries are modernising their naval defence units by manufacturing submarines, surface-mine countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUVs) and other combat and tactical UUVs.

“Advanced undersea warfare will be a key trend for market growth. The defence strategies of most countries rely significantly on their undersea warfare. Stealth submarines and UUVs have emerged as the most viable means of gathering intelligence.

“Therefore, undersea warfare is an important element of current and future military operational plans. The submarines and other undersea vehicles have enhanced their stealth and lightweight characteristics due to extensive research and development, wide use of technology and high-fidelity training. The transition from traditionally manned submarines to new unmanned submarines has changed the degree of naval warfare,” the report reads.

Experts are forecasting that rising investments in submarines would be a key driver for market growth. From about $17.57 billion in 2015, the global submarine market is projected to witness 3.47 per cent growth during the forecast period, to reach $20.97 billion by 2020.

A maritime expert, Lucky Amiwero, told The Guardian that it is imperative for the Federal Government to purchase submarines even in the midst of economic challenges because not doing so may be more costly.

“We have to take all necessary steps to get it, not one and not even two. We are not having it because we have failed in our planning system and focus while corruption has worsened the matter.

“It is just like a Nigerian Air Force not having an aircraft, the Nigerian Navy must also have a ship and then a submarine that can go underwater,” Amiwero said.

The United States last month took delivery of another submarine that is sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and planned to be named after her home state – Chicago.

Submarine builder, General Dynamics Electric Boat, based in Groton, Connecticut, delivered the submarine after nearly five and a half years of construction.

The first lady will be involved in the life of the submarine and the lives of its sailors and their families. It took thousands of shipyard employees in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Virginia and submarine supply businesses nationwide to build the $2.7 billion submarine.

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  • Princess Adaeze


  • FirecloudOFGOD

    Submarine ke! Man dey talk about the next geisha fish, whey man go chop, you people dey talk submawhat. To launch into 21st Century, you need basic industry, adequate power supply and trained personnel in technology! Nigeria has Zilch!

    • Apostel

      absolut correct!

  • Abel kenny

    sub wetin when Nigerians dey suffer. plss stop dat jare. industrially we re Zero nd u re here talking of one useless submarine. think dats not our top priority for now

  • Message66

    “We have ships with underwater, surface and air capabilities. So, that is not a problem.

    Please which ships in the NN have air or underwater capabilities?The only ship in our arsenal that combines these 3 capabilities is the NNS Aradu, And we know this one has been moribund for the past 11 years. No movement from Victoria Island, infact, dead!! The mine sweepers have lost their mine sweeping capability and they’re now simple OPVs. The new ships from China, even they’ve got air defense radar, their anti-aircraft cannons are manually controlled and puits the ships at risk of being hit by advanced anti ship missiles.
    We love making mouth in Nigeria, too much. Go see the military of Algeria, Morocco, light years ahead of Nigeria.
    We don’t even need submarines now, there are basic capabilities other African countries take for granted that we lack. This is what we should be talking and thinking about.

    • Rommel

      With the billions Jonathan and his goons stole while awarding contracts to Tompolo to equip the navy,how would we maintain an advanced fighting force? do you know NNS Thunder with call sign F90? it has those capabilities

      • Message66

        You’ve come with your APC politicking mentality. This discuss is about military capability. Can you give me a factual analysis of what the military was before GEJ and how it was at the end of his tenure?
        Secondly, NNS Thunder is nothing but a large OPV. At 3000 tons it should have been fitted with AA , ASh and antisubmarine capabilities but it lacks all of them. Its merely being used as a maritime border patrol craft. Please fact check. It was a Hamilton Class Cutter of the United States Coast Guard (the word here is “Coast Guard”) not the US “Navy”. Even the CIWS was removed before it was handed to Nigeria, the only offensive weapon it poses is the 76mm main gun. So tell me what other capability it possesses. Please no politics here. Thanks.

        • Rommel

          F90 was fitted with Nigerian coastal necessities including harpoons and various other anti ship weapons and seaborne surface to surace missiles,the phillippnes have similar ships and they also configured to their needs,we are not engaged in territorial warefare,what we fight against is piracy and bunkering, while with US coast guard,it had the capability to detect underwater activities and it still has.

          • Message66

            Mr. Rommel, Nigeria’s F90 has no Harpoons, no anti ship weapons, no surface to surface missile. Even the new ships NNS Centenary and the newly arriving NNS Unity cannot boast of one missile capability. Please I beg you to fact check. Nigeria Navy as it presently is has no missile deployment capability. The Philippines navy fit their ship with certain capabilities doesn’t mean NN did the same. And they didn’t do same anyway. Name one thing on that Filipino naval ship that is present on F90 (apart from the main gun)? Not even the sister ship NNS Okpabana. They are simple OPVs and because of their size and fuel carrying capacity they have long endurance at sea. An OPV is not prepared for surface, anti-aircraft or serious anti-ship warfare. Long endurance is good, but fighting/warfare ability is very negligible. Please fact check, fact check. Don’t be the usual Nigerian that loves blowing hot without corresponding facts. The only reason the Nigerian military makes so much noise is because we have neigbhours without any serious offensive capabilities (Cameroon, Chad, Benin, Niger, Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Iv Coast etc), that’s all. Please fact check!!! The Nigerian military in comparison with more serious armed forces on the African continent is quite weak, but because of our Nigerian arrogance, we won’t admit it nor plan to improve on our short comings. The army deployment in Mali was a huge embarrassment, but they covered it up somehow.
            Face to face stand off with the likes of Algeria, Morocco (let’s not even talk about Egypt it will be an unfair comparison) they’ll be overrun in a couple of days, with South Africa, in a week or two.
            Face to face with the likes of Ethiopia, Angola, Zimbabwe, it will be a very hard nut for them to crack if at all they succeed.
            Lastly, you wouldn’t see a professional and serious military flogging its citizens on the streets, maltreating and abusing the very citizens they’re supposed to protect. They have so much time on their hands, they dont know what to do with it.

          • Rommel

            In Europe today,most capabilities are depleted because of absence of threats and concentration on NATO,same happens to nations not engaged in conflicts but the equipments I listed for you are all present for purposes of exercise especially on vessels like NNS Centenary,I don’t know their combat readiness as the only threat that exists like I said is piracy and bunkering.

          • marko

            Your understanding or sense of reasoning is too low! You mean Nigeria should only buy weapon when there’s war? You talk about EU do you no that UK spend 2% of their GDP on defense? War never tells when coming so Nigeria should be prepared.

      • marko

        FOOOL with LIAR Muhammad story of lie upon lies deceit and propagand life style no job.

  • Ogbonnaya Okike

    Nigeria likes to make noise and waste its resources. Fools make money and it takes a wise person time to spend it. Nigeria cannot produce a bolt, but thinking about one of the higher engineering and science technologies. The navy is buying out used boats from Sri Lanka, oh what a great news.

  • D-Prince Adeleke Adesemowo

    Are dey just knwn dat we dnthav…individuals are enrinchn demselves wt our money…12m$ for medicals…haba…dey willbuy a dysfunctional one now…nd keep Al d money for demselves again…d sub go rust finish sef..due to lack of maintenance