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Navy gets approval to repair NNS Aradu fleet

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By Abiodun Okunloye

It will be sent abroad for refurbishment and returned within 24 months.

The Nigerian Navy’s flagship, NNS ARADU, has been approved by the federal government to undergo renovations. Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, made the announcement at the start of the Maritime Discourse, a programme meant to launch the Presidential Fleet Review 2023 in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari under the theme “Fleet Readiness for National Prosperity.” According to him, the NNS Aradu will be sent abroad for refurbishment and then brought back within twenty-four months, which is the period of the programme that is being carried out.

NNS Aradu, also known by its call sign F89, was the first vessel of its MEKO 360 type general purpose frigate designed to serve a variety of missions and constructed by the German company Blohm + Voss of Hamburg. With powerful anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities and a length of 125.6 metres (412 feet and one inch), this ship is the largest in the Nigerian Navy. It also took part in the 200th-anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Unpreparedness can cost the nation its economy.

Earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff had emphasized the need to possess a powerful naval force, pointing out that any obstruction within the environment caused by the lack of possession of a prepared naval fleet would result in unfavourable effects on the economic existence of nations. To further investigate and uncover challenging aspects that might ensure a prepared navy fleet poised to relieve maritime insecurity and promote prosperity, he said, were among the compelling reasons he cited.

According to him, the maritime discourse would serve as a forum for discussing the various aspects of naval fleet preparedness and how they may be coordinated to achieve the operational goals of the Nigerian Navy while contributing to the country’s economic growth. In light of this, he said, the theme for the Presidential Fleet Review was developed to support this drive at the strategic level and highlight the importance of a responsive naval fleet and its role in bringing about national development.

Man, Machine, and Process are the considered driving forces.

One of the considerations derived from the concept is the triune interaction factor. Interactions between the three factors of the Man (which represents the crew), the Machine (which make up the several platforms), and the Process (which contains doctrine, policy, and strategy), all of which generate a key evaluation of this notion. In order to put the preceding imperatives into more practical situations, the theme was broken down into four different areas,, which are Doctrine/workup, Logistics Support, Fleet Maintenance and Crew Preparedness.

To protect the maritime environment, where hardened criminals are determined to carry out their illegal activities with disastrous effects on the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, Admiral Gambo said it is essential that Nigeria constructs a robust, forward-looking, and responsive naval force. So, he said he totally agrees with the CNS when he says that Mr. President is the driving force behind the efficient operation of the Nigerian Navy. And also, the subtopics of the Presidential Fleet Review are reflected in the triad of Man, Machine, and Process.

Nigeria has seen undisrupted democratic transition for the past 20 years.

On his part, Major General Bashir Magashi (RTD), Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, stated that the Maritime Discourse seemed appropriate for a number of reasons, including the fact that Nigeria has been going through a continuous and uninterrupted democratic transition for the past 20 years and there are higher potentials and prospects for a great future for the Armed Forces. In addition, he stated that the Nigerian Navy has been actively contributing to the development of this promising future.

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