Commodore Timothy Samuel Appiah, an official with the Ghana Navy informed the media that the crew, numbering some 70 had underwent intense naval training in Germany before undertaking the journey back home aboard the newly inducted vessels. A function was earlier held at the Neue Jadewerft shipyard in the German port city of Wilhelmshaven, Lower Saxony province to mark the handing over of the vessels.
Officials from the Ghana Navy claimed that the vessels will be used to prevent both internal and external acts of aggression. They also said that counter-piracy operations will also be boosted with the induction of the new vessel. The protection of the oil wells operated by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation is another task which is likely to be given to the FACs. Most of the oil wells in Ghana are located in offshore areas.
The acquisition of the vessels was finalized in 2010 between Ghana and Germany. Germany had agreed to refurbish the vessels ahead of their handing over. The number of vessels acquired by the Ghana Navy now stands at seven, following the latest additions. Earlier this year, four new Chinese made patrol ships were inducted in to the navy, for counter-piracy operations. Also, last year Ghana had acquired a decommissioned Sea Dolphin class FAC from the South Korea.
Currently the German Navy is operating a total of 8 Gepard class FACs. Two others (Nerz and Dachs) were decommissioned and given to Ghana on March 31st, 2012. The 390 tonne vessels are capable of attaining speeds of over 40 knots, and operate with a crew of around 34 each. Major armaments include the MM38 Exocet anti-ship missile, the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile, and the OTO-Melara 76mm naval cannon.