Nigeria Buys Fast Patrol Boats?

Israel Shipyards has sold three Shaldag fast patrol boats to an African country, which is believed to be Nigeria. The West African nation is in the midst of expanding its navy in order to combat maritime insecurity such as piracy and oil theft.

Israel Shipyards on July 17 said that it had agreed upon a deal for the sale of three Shaldag (Kingfisher) vessels for 80 million shekels (US$19 million). The Gold Bond Group, which owns 20% of the company, said it expected to make a profit of 16 million shekels (US$3.9 million) out of the deal.

It was reported that the fast patrol boats would be delivered to an African country, which has already paid a deposit for them. This country is almost certainly Nigeria – its 2012 Defence Budget Proposal makes provision for three Shaldag Mk III fast patrol craft, according to Budget Office documents.

The Shaldag design is in service with the Israeli Navy and other customers in Europe, Asia and Africa. It was developed and built by Israel Shipyards Ltd in the late 1980s but upgraded over the years based on combat experience. The type is powered by two diesel engines driving two water jets, which give an acceleration time to 40 knots of 40 seconds.

The Shaldag Mk III/IV has a length of 26.7 metres, a displacement of 64 tons and a maximum speed of more than 43 knots. It has a crew of 10-12 and a range of 700 nautical miles/four days. The Slightly larger Shaldag Mk V (with a length of 31.2 metres) has a displacement of 95 tons and a range of 1 000 nautical miles/six days. On the smaller end of the scale, the Shaldag Mk II has a length of 24.8 metres, a displacement of 58 tons and a range of 650 nautical miles.

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Article and image courtesy of Defence Web.

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