In the geopolitical struggle for control and influence in Africa, Nigeria is a target, and as such a front line belligerent, whether we like it or not. A country with Nigeria's attributes needs a strong naval deterrence. We can never match the powerful Navies of the big players. That doesn't mean we cannot build a strong deterrent.
Photo: A submarine on the surface
Submarines are often described as a weapon of choice for the weak to deter the strong. Unable to match the large multi-mission Navies of the major powers it will be in Nigeria's best interest to invest in conventional submarines to deter a powerful adversary to maintain a favorable strategic balance in the region.
Photo: President Buhari looking at a submarine demo
Make no mistake, this is no cakewalk. The challenges involved in building up and maintaining a submarine force are far greater than is commonly understood. But with the changing strategic balance in the region, a submarine force will be an effective deterrent.
The Nigerian Navy would do well to consider augmenting its fleet with quiet, inexpensive diesel-electric submarines. We don't need highly complex nuclear-powered submarines that can go on long deployments. All we need is littoral patrols. The lifeblood of the Nigerian economy lies in the Atlantic.
File Photo for illustration
Having a strong submarine force is important not only for coastal defense but for protecting our major sea lanes by controlling the entire Gulf of Guinea. A submarine’s main capability is stealth. A clandestine weapon. They will support our surface fleet, shadow enemy vessels, and deny enemy ships access to areas of interest i.e offshore oil installations in the Gulf of Guinea.
A submarine’s main capability is stealth. A clandestine weapon. They will support our surface fleet, shadow enemy vessels, and deny enemy ships access to areas of interest i.e offshore oil installations in the Gulf of Guinea. When operating on the station, they can maintain maximum stealth by staying completely submerged.
A submarine is arguably a good investment. The Nigerian Navy is ripe for an undersea arm and does not have to be restrained to one platform to accomplish numerous missions. Diesel submarines operating from forwarding bases would represent a very cost-effective and stealthy means to conduct sea denial missions.
Photo Credit: Google
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