By Precious Igbonwelundu
Twenty years after its last Landing Ship Tank (LST) was decommissioned, the Nigerian Navy multipurpose LST 100 is set for launching at the Damen shipyard in Sharjah, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The ship, whose keel was laid in December 2019, is designed for a range of duties, including amphibious operations, strategic transport of equipment and troops, disaster relief, medical evacuation and humanitarian assistance.
The Nation reports that the vessel, a 100-metre long roll-on roll-off landing craft, has the capacity to carry over 250 passengers, including 32 crew members and 16 embarked special forces.
It also has a helicopter deck and significant space to carry troops and tanks for ground forces on special mission.
According to Director of Naval Information (DINFO), Commodore Suleman Dahun, the LST will serve as a critical component of naval power projection for enhanced maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond when introduced into the navy’s inventory.
“In its secondary role, the LST will play a critical role in the protection of maritime assets and preservation of law and order at sea, thus contributing significantly to promotion of global maritime commerce, peace and safety.
“The new LST has a complement of 32 crew and 250 embarked persons and a length of 100.08 metres. She is powered by two Caterpillar/Cat 3516 C-rating engines and four Caterpillar C-18 generators. Furthermore, she has an endurance of 15 days at 15 knots.
“If she is to be used for humanitarian missions/evacuation, she can accommodate over 450 persons on its upper and lower decks in short trips,” he said.