On the 17th of June, 2023, the Ghanaian Navy received two former US Coast Guard Marine Protector patrol boats supplied by the United States under its Excess Defence Articles (EDA) programme.
The vessels were delivered aboard the Ocean Giant at Takoradi Harbour. Flag-Officer Commanding the Western Naval Command, Commodore Emmanuel Kwafo, told the press that the vessels arrival will add to the Navy’s capacity to fight against armed robbery at sea, piracy, illegal bunkering, drug and human trafficking, and will help protect Ghana’s fisheries resources.
“We are very grateful of the partnership with the US,” Kwafo said. The vessels that will be named GNS Aflao and GNS Half Assini will play a critical role in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, and their delivery will strengthen maritime security in the region.
US Naval Attaché to Ghana, Commander Carlton McClain said, “Ghana is our most important partner, especially in regional security for the Gulf of Guinea and for West Africa. The Gulf of Guinea…is important in terms of trade, and we are happy to assist Ghana in this partnership,”.
The Marine Protector class is 27 metres long, with a displacement of over 90 tons. Two MTU diesel engines give a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/h), a range of 1700 km and endurance of 3 days. Armament includes two 12.7 mm machineguns and the vessel can carry 10 personnel. Boarding parties can be launched while the vessel is underway, through a stern launching ramp. Ghana also received two rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIBS) along with the two patrol boats.
Ghana’s Navy has been expanding in recent years, notably with the acquisition of 4 Flex Fighter offshore patrol vessels that were built in Singapore by Penguin Shipyard. They were commissioned in February 2022. These 4 vessels were bought to provide dedicated security to the country’s offshore oil and gas installations. New naval infrastructure is also being added, including multiple forward operating bases across the coastline.
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