The Nigerian Navy says it has completed repairs of one of its foremost warships, NNS Thunder, after being grounded since 2016.
The warship, equipped with modern navigational technology and arsenal, was declared unfit to sail following failure of its critical components and machinery.
Capt. Shuaib Ahmed, Commanding Officer, NNS Thunder, told Newsmen on Sunday that the vessel arrived at Onne seaport in Rivers on Friday.
He said it took the navy about two years to repair the warship mainly due to unavailability of spare parts.
“So, 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.
Ahmed said the warship sailed to Agbami oil field, Okore fields, Okono fields and Bonny channels before making its return to Onne seaport.
The commanding officer 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.
“So, 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 resumed its normal patrol of the nation’s territorial waters to checkmate activities of sea pirates, sea robbers and oil thieves, among others.