Kenya Navy

WikiKenya Navy
- Advertisement -

Kenya Navy is the naval branch of Kenyan military forces. It is headquartered in Mombasa. Kenya Navy has Mtongwe base in Mombasa, Shimoni, Msambweni, Malindi, Kilifi and since 1995 another base located in Manda (part of Lamu Archipelago).

The Kenyan Navy was established on 12 December 1964, exactly one year after Kenya gained independence. It was preceded by the colonial Royal East African Navy (REAN). Following the disbanding of the REAN in 1962, the East African Railways and Harbours Co-operations assumed control of naval operations in the former East African colonies until the independent states established their own navies.

In 1972, Major JCJ Kimaro was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by President Jomo Kenyatta and appointed as the first commander of the Kenyan Navy. He died in a road accident in 1978 and Major General E S Mbilu took over the command until his retirement in 1988 when Brigadier JRE Kibwana was promoted to Major General and appointed the Navy Commander, replacing Major General E S Mbilu.

On 4 September 2012 the Kenyan Navy shelled the Somali city of Kismayo. This was part of an African Union offensive to capture the city from al-Shabab fighters during the War in Somalia. The harbour was shelled two times and the airport three times. According to a UN report the export of charcoal through Kismayo is a major source of income for al-Shabab.


The nomenclature of ranks in the Kenyan navy is not in line with traditional naval ranks; it is more in line with land forces assignments:

- Advertisement -

Officer ranksSecond Lieutenant (Midshipman)Lieutenant (Sub-Lieutenant)Captain (First Lieutenant)Major (Lieutenant Commander)Lieutenant Colonel (Commander)Colonel (Captain)Brigadier (Commodore)Major General (Rear-Admiral)Lieutenant-General (Vice Admiral)General (Admiral)

Notable members

Commander of the NavyCommander E M C Walker, RN 1964–1967Commander A A Pearse, RN 1967–1969Commander W A E Hall, RN 1969–1972 – last Royal Navy officer to command Kenyan NavyLieutenant Colonel J C J Kimaro 1972–1978 – first Kenyan to head navyMajor General E S Mbilu 1978–1988Major General J R E Kibwana 1988–1998Major General Aboud Abdalla Rafrouf 1998–2002Major General Pastor O Awitta 2002–2006Major General Samson Jefwa Mwathethe 2006–2011Major General Ngewa Mukala 2011–August 2015(outgoing)Major General Levi.F.Mugalu, (incoming)August 2015

Current Vessels

Jasiri Class survey ship and offshore patrol vessel, Gondan shipyard Spain.P3124 KNS JasiriBuilt as an oceanographic survey vessel but latter fitted with armament at the navy’s Mkunguni dock yard. Commissioned into the navy on 29 August 2012. It currently is the largest vessel in the fleet. It is 85 meters long, displaces 1400 tonnes, and has a maximum crew of 81.P400 Class offshore patrol vesselP3134 KNS Harambee IIFormer French P400 class patrol vessel La Rieuse. Donated by France for anti-piracy patrols .Shupavu Class large patrol boats, Gondan shipyard Spain.P6129 KNS ShujaaP6130 KNS ShupavuBuilt to civilian standards in 1997 and entered service in 1997. Armed with a 76mm and a 30mm gun in Kenya.Nyayo Classmissile boatsP3126 KNS NyayoP3127 KNS UmojaBuilt by Vosper Thornycroft, these are similar to the Omani Province class, and were delivered in 1987. Armed with 4 Otomat SSM, 1 76 mm OTO DP, 1 dual 30 mm AA, 2 20 mm machine guns From March 2009 to July 2011 these ships underwent an extensive refit at Fincantieri’s Muggiano shipyard in northern Italy, during which their surface-to-surface missile (SSM) systems were removed, effectively reducing the vessels to an OPV configuration. Ships of this class are 57 meters long, displace 450 tonnes and have a crew of 45.Madaraka Class small missile boatsP3100 KNS Mamba – classed as Mamba Class(For three other boats see retired Madaraka Class boats below)Delivered from 1974–1976 (Mamba was delivered in 1976) and built by Brooke Marine along with three others of the class. KNS Mamba has a non-functioning missile system and is currently used as an OPV. Remainder of the class decommissioned and placed in reserve status. Formerly armed with 4 Gabriel SSM, 1 dual 30 mm AA.Galana Class/River Class medium landing ship (LSM) /coastal logistics shipsL39 KNS TanaL38 KNS GalanaBuilt by Construnaves-CEN, Gondan, Spain and delivered in December 1993 from Spain and entered service in 1994. Used for logistics. These ships are unarmed and used for amphibious warfare.Archangel class RHIB (jet boat)1 – 12-metre IPVBuilt by SAFE Boats International and donated by the USA in 2006 to reduce gun and drug running.USGS Defender Class RHIB with outboard motors5 – 7-metre IPVs were built by SAFE Boats International and donated by the USA in 2006 to reduce gun and drug running.P101 Class IPVsP943P944P945P946P947These ex-Spanish Navy patrol boats were built by ARESA (Arenys del Mar, Barcelona) from 1978 to 1982 and procured by Kenya in 1995. Each is 12m long, with a top speed of 16kts, and armed with a 12.7mm machine gun.Personnel TendersTwo built by Cowes in 1998. Each can carry 136 passengers.YTB Harbour TugKNS NgamiaBuilt by James Lamont, Port Glasgow in 1969 for Mombasa Port Authority and transferred to the navy in 1983.

Four 10 Meter Metal Shark RHIBs powered by twin 300 horsepower Yamaha outboard engines. Donated by US Navy in June 2015.

Past Vessels

The Kenya navy has replaced many older vessels from the navy’s early years, mostly transfers from the Royal East African Navy via the Royal Navy.Ford class seaward defence boatKNS NyatiDonated by the Royal Navy in 1964 and used as a training vessel. It was formerly known HMS Aberford. It was sold for scrap in 1971.Vosper Thornycroft 110′ training craftTraining craft was retired in 2000.Simba Class patrol crafts (from the UK)P3110 KNS Simba – retired 2000P3111 KNS ChuiP3112 KNS NdovuThese boats were delivered from Britain in 1966. These ships were built by Vosper Thornycroft. KNS Simba was decommissioned in 1997.Madaraka Class missile boats (UK)P3122 KNS JamhuriP3123 KNS HarambeeP3121 KNS MadarakaThese missile boats were delivered in 1976 along with KNS Mamba, and were built by Brooke Marine. KNS Madaraka was decommissioned in 2000, and KNS Jamhuri and KNS Harambee in 2002.

Kenya Navy Wikipedia (Text) CC BY-SA

- Advertisement -

Check out our other content

What is a back panel?

What is a battery?

Check out other tags:

Must Read