The Nigerian Navy on Sunday announced a breakthrough in the repairs of its most modern warships, NNS Thunder after two years of its being permanently docked dating back to 2016.
The warship, equipped with state of the art navigational technology and arsenal, was declared unfit to sail following failure of its critical components and machinery.
Commanding Officer, NNS Thunder, Navy Captain Shuaib Ahmed informed the media on Sunday that the vessel arrived at Onne seaport in Rivers on Friday after undergoing test patrols of the nation’s critical assets at sea.
He said it took the navy about two years to repair the warship mainly due to unavailability of spare parts.
Ahmed said, “Due to this factor, the vessel had remained parked at Onne seaport, because its system is a new addition in our inventory”.
“We sourced the spare parts abroad, and when they finally arrived, the defects in the machineries and auxiliaries were fixed.
“After the repairs, we took the warship to machinery trial to attest to repairs done, and thereafter, proceeded to sail for about a week at sea,” he said.
Captain Ahmed disclosed that the warship sailed to Agbami oil field, Okore fields, Okono fields and Bonny channels before making its return to Onne seaport.
He added that efforts are ongoing to improve the navy’s capacity to produce the vessel’s spare parts locally.
“Bringing back this ship to sea is a great achievement for the Nigerian Navy.
“There is nobody within the maritime domain that does not know proficiency and capability of the NNS Thunder at sea.
“NNS Thunder is a big asset that when deployed to sea, sends shivers down the spines of criminal elements. The ship has capabilities to track criminals anywhere at sea” he said.
He said the vessel has resumed its normal patrol of the nation’s territorial waters to checkmate activities of sea pirates, sea robbers and oil thieves, among others.