Piracy: Malaysian Shipyard Completes $8Million Manta Vessels For Nigeria

Malaysian company Northern Shipyard has finished construction of four Manta Mk II fast patrol craft for the Nigerian Navy, after receiving a contract from Suncraft International for the boats.

Northern Shipyard was contracted by Singapore’s Suncraft International to build the boats in February 2020 and completed the vessels in late December, Bernama reports.

Northern Shipyard managing director Ooi Cheng Choon told the publication that the vessels were expected to be delivered to Lagos, Nigeria, in January.

The shipyard held a launching ceremony on 21 December in Langkawi. Northern Shipyard manager Masmawi Ishak said the contract was worth RM32 million ($8 million).

The Nigerian Navy is a repeat customer for the Manta Mk II and by 2013 had taken 22 of the 17 metre long vessels into service.

The Suncraft International Manta Mk II is powered by two 1 200 hp diesel engines, giving a top speed of between 45 and 50 knots. The vessel features ballistic protection, can carry a crew of six and has a range of 250 nautical miles at 35 knots.

The Nigerian Navy planned to take delivery of 41 new vessels in 2020, including patrol boats, interceptors and a hydrographic survey vessel from France, Malaysia, Vietnam and local manufacturers, adding to the 42 patrol boats and other vessels acquired in 2019.

This includes a 60 metre OSV 160 hydrographic survey vessel from France’s Ocea, two 40 metre fast patrol boats from Damen Shipyard in Vietnam, four Manta class boats, one helicopter from Italy (an AW139) and 15 riverine patrol boats from Nigeria’s Epenal Group. The hydrographic survey vessel NNS Lana was launched in September while the arrival of the AW139 in Nigeria was announced in May.

Ocea is also constructing two 35 metre FPB 110 fast patrol boats, a 24 metre FPB 72 fast patrol boat and four 17 metre C-Falcon interceptors for the Nigerian Navy, which has already received two FPB 110s, seven FPB 72s and a 35 metre FPB 98. The first C-Falcon and the FPB 110 were delivered in November 200.

The deliveries come as the Gulf of Guinea experiences a surge in pirate attacks, making it the world’s piracy hotspot. 

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