With dignitaries and special guests in attendance, the occasion marked the second inauguration of the latest version of the 35m Sentinel high-speed, multi-purpose naval vessel within a few months. The 35m Sentinel is optimised for coastal patrols and cargo transfer duties, among a myriad of other mission assignments that the multi-purpose vessel can perform.
Following the christening, the vessel will be deployed in the greater Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region, a recognized hotspot in 2022 for oil and gas (O&G) piracy, bunkering, and kidnapping activities, often undertaken by armed militant cabals.
The state-of-the-art 35m Sentinel is an aluminum-hulled maritime platform with an optimal V-bottom hull shape. Sporting a length of 35 metres, a beam of 7.5 metres and draught of 2 metres, the Sentinel comfortably hosts up to 6 cabins for both crew and security personnel.
Ensuring mission survivability and utmost personnel security, the Sentinel’s wheelhouse and main deck accommodation structure is fitted with composite ballistic armour while gun mounts and ballistic shields are fitted to offer robust coverage around the vessel. The vessel design offers next-generation wheelhouse protection of STANAG Level II and deckhouse ballistic protections of STANAG Level I. Powered by three Caterpillar C32 main engines developing 1,193 kW each and three propellers, allows for a range at economical speed of 1,300 nautical miles (NM).
The Sentinel’s 11x6 metre cargo deck can further accommodate 20 tons of cargo or a 20-foot shipping container. A 6.5 metre semi-rigid boat can also be launched via a davit.
Paramount Maritime employs highly qualified personnel operating in numerous manufacturing facilities, providing steadfast maritime solutions for the African shipbuilding industry and beyond. The company develops highly customised solutions that address localised challenges, delivering world-class security protections, while adhering throughout to globally recognised environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria.
In the arena of security and foreign policy, the maritime space has been regarded as suffering from ‘sea blindness’ and is often overlooked as an economic priority. At a recent high-level security seminar organized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria, the Head of ECOWAS’ Regional Security Division, Col. Abdourahmane Dieng, affirmed that maritime insecurity in the region had long been “…one of the most persistent and intractable threats to maritime communities and economic prosperity in West Africa”.
Paramount Maritime CEO, Lee Connolly, stated that, “The launch of the 35m Sentinel Vessel, named the MV TUGUEMI, is yet another milestone in our production of a world class product made proudly in Africa, for Africa”.
“Indeed, the ramifications of maritime piracy, including kidnappings and even assaults plague the whole of Africa’s trajectory, not just their points of origin. Rule of law in Gulf of Guinea (GoF) territorial waters and their associated blue economic zones has been routinely challenged and such crimes hit record-heights during the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn exacerbated already-constrained supply chains across the continent”.