NNS Aradu: Nigeria’s most powerful warship gets a refit

One of Africa’s most formidable warship and Nigeria’s only frigate NNS Aradu is undergoing a refit at the Naval Dockyard limited in Victoria Island, Lagos.

NNS Aradu (F89), a Meko 360 class multipurpose frigate — Aradu (Hausa for “Thunder”) has been inoperable for several years due to lack of funding.

In June 2017, the Nigerian Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas, said the Nigerian Navy needs 250 million dollars to refit NNS ARADU for maritime operations.

“We desire to have the ship at sea but as soon as the navy is properly funded, we should be able to refit that vessel and have it at sea,” he said.

Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas later revealed that refitting NNS ARADU was not an option for now.

Naval sources who spoke to Military Africa disclosed that the warship (NNS Aradu) is expected to become operational before the end of 2020.

However, the vessel will not be fully refitted for combat operations due to the age and obsolescence of its weapons, fire control and navigational systems.

Military Africa also learnt that NNS Aradu will now undertake a new mission as a combat training ship for Nigeria’s new general-purpose frigate valued at $350 million, expected to be delivered in the coming years.

In 2005, NNS Aradu participated in the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar by sailing to Great Britain.

NNS ARADU also took part in “Operation Seadog” in 1985 and “Operation Odion” in 1987.

During the Second Liberian Civil War, NNS Aradu patrolled Liberian waters, showing the flag. 

NNS Aradu undertook extensive diplomatic visits to countries like Gabon, Congo, Zaire, Equatorial Guinea and numerous European countries.

She has also participated in joint exercises with visiting ships of the German, Indian, French and the Brazilian Navies.

Ekene Lionel

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