Albanian Naval Force

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Albanian Naval Forces
Forca Detare
Albanian Naval Forces.svg
Active 1925 – today
Country  Albania
Allegiance Republic of Albania
Type Navy
Part of Albanian Armed Forces
Anniversaries December 25 – Navy's Foundation Day
Equipment 31 vessels
Commanders
President of Albania Bujar Nishani
Minister of Defence Mimi Kodheli
Chief of General Staff of the Albanian Armed Forces Major General Jeronim Bazo[1]
Commander of the Naval Force Brigadier General Ylber Dogjani[2]
Insignia
Naval Ensign Naval Ensign of Albania.svg
Naval Ensign (1958–1992) Naval Ensign of Albania-1958-1992.svg
Naval Ensign (1954–1958) Naval Ensign of Albania 1954-1958.svg

The Albanian Naval Force (Albanian: Forca Detare) is the naval branch of the Albanian military. Their name was changed from the Albanian Naval Defense Forces in 2010.[3] The Naval Force is headquartered in Durrës, and operates multiple bases, including Kepi i Palit base in Durrës, and Pashaliman in Vlorë.

The vessels of the Albanian Naval Force are mostly patrol craft and support craft. The Naval Force operates four large Damen Stan Type 4207 patrol boats, three of which were built in Albania.[4] Some of the Naval Force's vessels were purchased from, or donated by Italy, the United States, China, or the Soviet Union. Most former Soviet or Chinese boats have been retired from service; only 1 Soviet built minesweeper remains in service.

The Navy performs mainly duties, based on the concept of "one Force, two Missions." The legal framework has been updated in order to facilitate these missions and EU-NATO integration. The Navy is also responsible for aids to navigation, including lighthouses.[5]

History[edit]

Early History[edit]

The history of the Albanian navy dates back to the General Command of Military Powers in 1925, following the creation of the Albanian Republic. Earlier efforts to create an Albanian naval force following Albanian independence in 1912 failed due to the start of World War I. In this period Albania possessed few naval vessels. Following the establishment of the Albanian Kingdom by King Zog in 1928, the navy was reformed into the Royal Albanian Navy.[6]

Following the Italian invasion of Albania and the Second World War, the Albanian Armed Forces were abolished and many ships were destroyed in the harbors of Albania.[7]

During the Socialist Era[edit]

The early history of the People's Republic of Albania saw Albania recovering from the result of Italian occupation and WWII. In 1945, a shipyard was built in Durrës to repair Albania's remaining ships.[6]

In the mid-50s Albania began to modernize and expand its navy. In 1954, a torpedo boat unit and associated facility was established on Sazan Island, off the coast of Durrës. A submarine unit was established in 1958. A naval academy was opened in Vlorë in 1961.[6]

Until 1996 Albania had more than 145 vessels in service. 45 of them were small, fast Chinese Type 25 Huchuan Class PHT torpedo boats, carrying two/four 533 mm Torpedoes, and some Shanghai-class coastal ASW patrol craft. The glory of the fleet were 4 Soviet built Whiskey class submarines, a direct result of an Albanian-Soviet dispute over their ownership, after Albania withdrew from the Warsaw Pact (1961) and the Soviets abandoned the Pasha Liman Base. The submarines were put into full service thanks to Chinese assistance, but by the end of 80's their efficiency was in doubt due to Albanian isolation and the end of Chinese help.[citation needed]

Recent History[edit]

The collapse of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania began in the early 1990s and was finalized with the 1992 elections and the founding of the 4th Albanian Republic. The fall of communism in Albania ushered in a new era of cooperation between the navies of Albania and other European nations. Starting in the 90s, Albania began to take part in numerous search and rescue exercises alongside other European nations.[6]

Vessels of the Albanian navy were seriously damaged during the 1997 political conflict. In March of 1998, the Albanian Navy docked in Italy for repair and refuge. The Naval Force's facilities were also damaged in the conflict and repairs were made with the help of the United States, Italy, Germany, Greece, Turkey, and other countries. In the same year, Albania retired its four Whiskey class submarines.[6]

As a result of numerous agreements made between 1998 and 2004, Albania received donated patrol vessels from the United States and Italy for use in search and rescue operations. The United States donated 5 boats in 1998, Italy donated 6 boats in 2002, and Italy donated another 5 in 2004.[6]

In 2004, Albania entered into an agreement with Italy wherein the Italian Navy provided equipment and technical assistance to the Albanian Naval Force in order to upgrade the country's aids to navigation.[8]

In June 2007, Albania renamed and reorganized its navy. The newly named Naval Force was thereafter organized into two flotillas and a logistics battalion.[6]

Naval Aviation[edit]

Albanian Navy pilots aboard the United States Navy amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1)

The Albanian Naval Force operates a naval aviation division which has cooperated with naval aviators from the United States Navy.

Facilities[edit]

Pashaliman base from across the Bay of Vlorë

The Naval Force operates multiple bases, including Kepi i Palit base in Durrës, and Pashaliman in Vlorë.

Pashaliman[edit]

Pashaliman Naval Base, located near Vlorë, has been used by the Albanian Navy from the 1950s. In that time it was one of few naval bases in the Mediterranean. Currently, four retired Whiskey-class submarines previously owned by the Soviet Union are still located on the facility alongside Albania's active-duty naval vessels. Three of the Albanian Navy's four Damen Stan patrol vessels were built at Pashaliman, the most recent completed in 2014.[4] Turkey and Greece have assisted Albania in a common effort to modernize the current Naval Academy and the repair facilities at Pashaliman.

The Naval Force often operates naval exercises in the Bay of Vlorë, out of Pashaliman. The most recent exercise was in April, 2016.[9]

A civilian naval engineering firm and shipyard also operate out of the military facility at Pashaliman.[10]

Porto Palermo[edit]

The Albanian Navy previously operated a submarine bunker called Porto Palermo, which was shut down after the decommissioning of Albania's submarines. In recent years, Porto Palermo has been used as the site of training exercises with foreign militaries, most recently a joint exercise with the United Kingdom.[11]

Equipment[edit]

Patrol craft[edit]

Class Photo No. Ship Year
Commissioned
Note
Coastal patrol vessels
Damen Stan 4207
Netherlands
Iliria P 131 Iliria 2008 Built in the Netherlands in 2008.[4]
P 132 Oriku 2011 Built at Pashaliman Naval Base, in Albania [4]
P 133 Lisus 2012 Built at Pashaliman Naval Base, in Albania [4]
P 134 Butrinti 2014 Built at Pashaliman Naval Base, in Albania [4]
T43 class
Soviet Union
Patrol boat M-111 M-111 1960 Soviet built at Izhora Leningrad (Pontonny Shipyard) and to be retired
Project 122bis
Soviet Union
Patrol boat P 207 P 207 1960 Soviet built at Zelenodolsk and 1 of 6 built for Albania (2 returned to Soviet Union)
Patrol boats
Seaspectre Mk III
United States
Patrol boat R 215 R 215
R 216
1999 1 of 3 from the United States; built either by Marinette Marine or Peterson Builders 1968–1975
R 118 1999 1 of 3 from the United States; built either by Marinette Marine or Peterson Builders 1968–1975
Patrol Craft, Coastal
United States
Patrol boat R 117 R 117 45' PCC Class From US Coast Guard
R 217 45' PCC Class From US Coast Guard
Super Speranza
Italy
Italian patrol boat CP 231 R ???
R 123
R 124
R 225
R 226
2002 Donated by Italy
Type 227 ex-Italian Coast Guard
Built by Cantieri Rodriguez with Iveco Aifo 828SRM,4 between 1966–1969 and 1 in 1980
ex CP 224, delivered 2008
ex CP 229, delivered 18.6.2002
ex CP 124, delivered 18.6.2002
ex CP 225
ex CP 226, delivered 18.6.2002
44' Archangel
United States
Archangel 03 5 boats Donated by the US government,3 in August 2010 and 2 more on 14 March 2013,for drug interdiction.[12] Built by SAFE Boats International
Classe 2000
Italy
R 125
R 126
R 127
R 128
R 224
R 227
R 228
2002 Donated by Italy
Type 2000 ex-Italian Coast Guard
ex CP 2008, delivered in 2004
ex CP 2020, delivered in 2004
ex CP 2021, delivered in 2004
ex CP 2034, delivered in 2004
ex CP 2010, delivered 18.6.2002
ex CP 2007, delivered in 2004
ex CP 2023, delivered in 2004

Service craft[edit]

Type Class In Service Note
Service repair vessel Landing Craft, Tank, Mk 3
United Kingdom
Converted to support vessel
Italy
1 Donated by Italy
ex MOC 1203 Italian Navy
Delivered 18.6.2002
Diving support vessel Project 522 Nyryat I
Soviet Union
1 Nyryat class from the Soviet Union
Torpedo recovery vessel Project 368 Poluchat
Soviet Union
1 From the Soviet Union
Anti-pollution boat Italy 3 2 donated by Italy
Type Siman C.1297
Delivered 26.8.2009 and 9.9.2009 [13]
Minesweeper Project 501 (PO-2)
Soviet Union
2
survey boat Italy 1 Donated by Italy
Delivered in 2003 [14]
lighter 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chief of General Staff of Albanian Armed Forces". Albanian Armed Forces. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Naval Force Structure". Albanian Armed Forces. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Kondi, Luan (25 April 2010). "Forcat e Armatosura, struktura e re pa Komandën e Bashkuar". Shqip newspaper (in Albanian). 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Një anije e re i shtohet Forcës sonë Detare (A new ship is added to our Naval Force)". Albanian Ministry of Defense. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Albania". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Naval History". Albanian Armed Forces. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "History of the General Staff of the Armed Forces". Albanian Armed Forces. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of Albania". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
  9. ^ "Vlora Sarex 16" Exercise". Albanian Ministry of Defense. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Pashaliman Shipyard". 
  11. ^ "Royal Marines launch final assualt [sic] on exercise Albanian Lion". UK Ministry of Defense. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  12. ^ Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (March 2011). "International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume I Drug and Chemical Control" (pdf). United States Department of State. p. 107. 
  13. ^ http://www.difesa.it/OperazioniMilitari/op_int_concluse/DIE/notizie_teatro/Pagine/Consegna_alle_Forze_Navali_albane_10505marino.aspx
  14. ^ http://www.iho.int/mtg_docs/CB/CBA/Technical%20visits/TV08/TVALBANIA.pdf

Sources[edit]

  • Wertheim, Eric. The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, 2005–2006; Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. US Naval Institute Press. Annapolis, Maryland. 2005.
  • Jane's Fighting Ships 2005–2006, Jane's Information Group, ISBN 0-7106-2692-4
  • The Military Balance 2008, The International Institute for Strategic Studies, ISBN 978-1-85743-461-3

External links[edit]