A private-design by the Blohm & Voss shipyard; near-sisters serve in the Argentine, Greek, and Turkish navies. The most noteable feature is “containerization” of the armament systems. Although not truly modular in the sense that they can be changed on a mission-by-mission basis, it allows less advanced local shipyards to remove systems for maintenance without making hull cuts. When Aradu entered service in 1982, she was by far and away the most powerful warship in Africa and two decades later is still a formidable vessel.
Aradu fell into disrepair by the late 1980s. In 1987 she suffered two groundings and a collision and remained peirside afterwards. A refit by Blohm&Voss was performed in Lagos from 1991 to 1994. The refit was expensive and in the end pointless; by 1997 Aradu was again non-operational. In 2001, another refit (with American assistance) was undertaken, and the ship returned to operation. The obsolete AWS 5 radar and PHS sonar were replaced and all systems cleaned and overhauled. The non-operational Lynx helicopter was replaced by a Augusta 109E.
The current availability of all weapons is unknown. Aradu has not test-fired a missile or torpedo since the late 1980s. However the launchers appear to be in good working order. The guns have been observed firing in 2004 and again in 2005, and the new helo is fully operational.
In 2005, Aradu sailed to the UK for the Trafalgar Fleet Review, taking part in exercises in the West and North Atlantic along the way. She was the only warship from sub-Saharan Africa to attend. She was in immaculate condition, and the ease and professionalism of the voyage signaled that Nigeria is once again a blue water naval power.
Displacement: 3360t full Dimensions: 412’x49‘2”x19’
Machinery: CODOG arrangement: 2 Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B gas turbines, 2 MTU 20V956 TB92diesels, two shafts, cp props
Max Speed: 31kts, 15kts on diesels alone Range: 6500NM @ 15kts on diesels
Complement: 195 (26 officers, 169 enlisted) + 35 spare berths
x1 A-109E helicopter (formerly Lynx)
x8 Otomat Mk1 SSM 43.2NM surface
x1 Albatros launcher for Apside 7NM AA (24 missiles total carried)
x1 OTO-Melara 5” 4NM AA / 8.7NM surface (460 rds total)
x8 (4 twin) Breda 40mm 5.5NM AA/surface (2688 rds per mount)
x6 (2 triple) STWS 1B 21” tubes 4.25NM sub
for 18 Whitehead A244S torpedoes
x1 DC rack, 12 depth charges 1NM sub
DA-08 90NM air (search, track)
Decca 1226SS (I) 25NM surface (range, bearing)
Signaal STIR (I/J/K) 60NM fire control (range, bearing, altitude)
Signaal WM25(I) 24NM fire control (range, bearing)
Decca RDL-2AC ESM (bearing, class)
x2 Decca IFF IFF
x2 Breda SCLAR 20 flare/chaff (40 rds ready + 80 rds reload)
Atlas EA80 20NM passive (bearing, class)
17NM active (range, depth, bearing)