Surface Forces: Chinese Warships Head For West Africa


April 9, 2012:  Nigeria is buying two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) from China. Each of these 1,800 ton ships is 95 meters (295 feet) long and has a top speed of 37 kilometers an hour. The crew of 70 is armed with a 76mm gun, two 30mm autocannon, and small arms (assault rifles, light machine-guns, and shotguns). There is a helicopter landing pad at the rear of the ship. These OPVs can remain at sea for up to 20 days. Each ship will cost $21 million. The second ship will have half the construction work done in Nigeria, which is also buying twelve smaller (24 meter long and smaller) coastal patrol boats. Nigeria has a growing problem with piracy and smuggling off its coast and the navy needs new ships to deal with it.



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