BY PHILIP NWOSU
An Indian warship with the capability to fight anti-submarine warfare has arrived Nigeria to join the Nigerian Navy in the celebration of its 61st anniversary.
The vessel piloted by Captain Rituraj Sahu of the Indian Navy, arrive Lagos with no fewer than 150 officers and men
The Indian Defence Adviser to Nigeria, Captain Gautam Marwaha while leading the Captain of the Ship and some members of its crew to Western Naval Command Headquarters in Lagos said Indian is looking at cooperation with Nigeria in the area of ship building.
He added that the bilateral relation between the Indian Navy and its Nigerian counterpart extends beyond training , adding that, “the Indian Navy stands committed to support the Nigerian Navy in terms equipment, hardware, ships , this is an ongoing process between the two navies, may be a few years to come you are going to see a warship built in India in Lagos.”
While receiving the vessel and its crew in Nigeria, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai commended the Indian Navy and the crew of INS Tarkash for the effort at felicitating with Nigerian Navy as its celebrate its 61 anniversary.
He said that the Indian Navy share similar challenges as the Nigerian Navy in terms of battling crude oil thieves and pirates, adding that the presence of the vessels and its crew will enable the two navies share knowledge on how to battle criminality at sea.
He said: “The Security situation there is akin to what is happening at the Gulf of Guinea, they also have their challenges, so when we meet like this, we discuss the challenges that are common and what steps they are taken to surmount the challenge and we borrow from them and see if we can tackle the maritime challenge we have here.”
Admiral Bobai also eulogized the Nigerian Navy at 61, explaining that the force started as a constabulary force with just 200 men and few ships, noting that today the force has grown from few ships to over 200 ships .
He said that today the navy now has capital ships, boat and all the likes, “our number has risen and we can say we are a fullfledged navy now, that can without hinderance, carry out its constitutional role and do some auxiliary services. Today we fly helicopter which hitherto we cannot do.”
The INS Tarkash (F50) is the fifth Talwar-class frigate constructed for the Indian Navy. She is part of the second batch of Talwar-class frigates ordered by the Indian Navy. She was built at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia. She was commissioned to Navy service on 9 November 2012 at Kaliningrad and joined the Western Naval Command on 27 December 2012.
Tarkash belongs to the Talwar class of guided missile frigates. These are modified Krivak III-class frigates built by Russia. These ships use stealth technologies and a special hull design to ensure a reduced radar cross section. Much of the equipment on the ship is Russian-made, but a significant number of systems of Indian origin have also been incorporated. The main difference between Tarkash and the earlier Talwar-class ships is the use of BrahMos missiles in place of the Klub-N missiles in the earlier ships. It is the second of the three frigates built in Russia as a follow-up order to the first batch of Talwar-class frigates.