VESSEL REVIEW | Niani – Senegalese Navy acquires missile-armed offshore patrol vessel


The Senegalese Navy has taken delivery of the second in a series of three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) built by French shipyard Piriou.

Named Niani, the second Walo-class OPV utilises a design developed by the Kership joint venture of Piriou and compatriot shipbuilder the Naval Group. The vessel has a steel hull, an aluminium superstructure with a bridge that offers all-round visibility, a length of 62.2 metres, a beam of 9.5 metres, a draught of 2.6 metres, and accommodations for 36 crewmembers and 12 additional personnel.


The armament includes Marte MK2/N anti-ship missiles, Mistral surface-to-air missiles, a Leonardo 76mm rapid-fire naval gun, two Nexter Narwhal 20mm autocannons fitted on remote weapon stations, and two 12.7mm machine guns. A Polaris combat management system supplied by the Naval Group is used in conjunction with the various onboard weapons.

The OPV can reach a top speed of 21 knots while a more economical cruising speed of 12 knots will enable the vessel to sail 4,500 nautical miles or stay out at sea for up to 45 days.

Launch and recovery ramps are available at the stern for use by two rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). There is also deck space for a cargo volume equivalent to that of two 20-foot containers and a Guerra knuckle boom crane.

As with its Walo-class sisters, Niani will perform missions such as fisheries enforcement, anti-illegal migration, counter-drug trafficking, and counter-piracy patrols in Senegal’s littoral waters and further out in the Gulf of Guinea.

Type of vessel: Offshore patrol vessel
Flag: Senegal
Owner: Senegalese Navy
Designer: Kership, France
Builder: Piriou, France
Hull construction material: Steel
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 62.2 metres
Beam: 9.5 metres
Draught: 2.6 metres
Maximum speed: 21 knots
Cruising speed: 12 knots
Range: 4,500 nautical miles
Other electronics: Naval Group Polaris combat management system
Crane: Guerra
Armaments: Marte MK2/N anti-ship missiles; Mistral surface-to-air missiles; Leonardo 76mm rapid-fire naval gun; 2 x Nexter Narwhal 20mm autocannons; 2 x 12.7mm machine guns
Other equipment installed: RIB launch/recovery ramps
Crew: 48
Operational area: Gulf of Guinea

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