Does Nigeria Have a Submarine?

Nigeria is considered the giant of Africa and that’s not just because it has the largest population in Africa but also due to its economic growth and military might. Talking about military might, the country boasts of an active Army, Navy, and Airforce with both men and women serving in top positions.

The Nigerian Navy is a unit of the Nigerian Armed Forces that protect the country’s sea and coastal borders from invaders. This unit consists of an active body of military personnel with weapons featuring patrol boats, submarines, warships, and fighter planes.

Does Nigeria Have a Submarine?

No. Currently, Nigerian doesn’t have a submarine as part of its Navy fleet. However, there are plans in the future to purchase a submarine to further the protection of Nigeria’s coastal areas. As a part of the Revised Nigerian Navy Transformation Plan (R-NNTP), Nigeria is looking to purchase a submarine in early 2021-2022. However, this plan is limited by the economic downturns facing the country after it survived two recessions.

Nigerian Navy Equipment

The Nigerian Navy fleet consists of several powerful warships, patrol vessels,  long-range patrol cutters, and more.

Long-range patrol cutters

NNS Thunder (F90)

The NNS Thunder (F90) is a Hamilton-class High Endurance cutter with a crossing range of 9,600 nautical miles at 20 knots and 80-foot flight deck. It is capable of handling both Coast Guard and Navy helicopters. The NNS Thunder (F90) was donated to the Nigerian Navy from the US in 2011 and then commissioned into Nigerian service in 2012.

NNS Okpabana

NNS Okpabana is another Hamilton-class high endurance cutter in the Nigerian service.  It has a cruising range of 9,600 nautical miles (at 20 knots and an 80-foot (24 m) flight deck. The ship is capable of handling helicopters making it an ideal platform for extended patrol missions. It was transferred to the Nigerian Navy from the US in 2014.

Fast attack craft / Patrol boats

NNS Andoni (P-100)

The NNS Andoni (P-100) is one of the few Navy boats developed and produced by the Nigerian army. It is a seaward defense boat launched in 2012.

NNS Karaduwa (P102)

The NNS Karaduwa (P102) is another defense boat of Nigerian origin. This seaward defense boat was built out of the Nigerian government’s aspiration of building and equipping its own naval fleet. The boat came into service in December 2016.

Inshore patrol craft

Shaldag-class patrol boat

The Shaldag-class patrol boat is a small patrol boat built for speed. It was developed by the Isreali Navy and purchased by the Nigerian military. The boat is able to execute security tasks at high speed

Defender-class boat

The Defender-class boat is a standard boat with its origin from the United States Coast Guard. The boat is designed to execute security tasks more conveniently featuring a design length of up to 29 feet and powered by twin 225 hp outboard motors. When on the water, the boat is able to reach speeds of up to 46 knots and have a range of 150 to 175 nautical miles. The max carrying capacity is up to 10 persons and can be handled by a crew of two persons.


AgustaWestland AW109

The AgustaWestland AW109 is a twin-engine, eight-seat, multi-purpose, and the first all-Italian helicopter to be mass-produced.  The Nigerian Air Force and Navy operate the A109LUH variant.

Westland Lynx

The Westland Lynx is a multi-purpose, twin-engine military helicopter developed by Westland Helicopters in England. It is a fully aerobatic helicopter able to maneuver and perform loops and rolls. The Nigerian Navy makes use of the Lynx Mk.89.

AgustaWestland AW139

The AgustaWestland AW139 is a twin-engined, 15-seat medium-sized helicopter developed to handle several different roles including law enforcement, search and rescue, and maritime patrol.

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