Jeshi la Wanamaji la Kenya
Coat of Arms of the Kenya Navy
|Part of||Kenya Defence Forces|
|Command Headquarters||Nairobi, Kenya|
|Engagements||Operation Linda Nchi (2011-12)|
|Commander-in-Chief||President Uhuru Kenyatta|
|Commander||Maj-Gen. Levi. F. Mungalu|
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:
- Second 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)
Commander of the Navy
- Commander E. M. C.Walker, RN 1964–1967
- Commander A. A. Pearse, RN 1967–1969
- Commander W. A. E. Hall, RN 1969–1972 – last Royal Navy officer to command Kenya Navy
- Lieutenant Colonel J. C. J. Kimaro 1972–1978 – first Kenyan to head navy
- Major General E. S. Mbilu 1978–1988
- Major General J. R. E. Kibwana 1988–1998
- Major General Aboud Abdalla Rafrouf 1998–2002
- Major General Pastor O. Awitta 2002–2006
- Major General Samson Jefwa Mwathethe 2006–2011
- Major General Ngewa Mkala 2011–August 2015
- Major General Levi F. Mghalu, August 2015–
- Jasiri Class survey ship and offshore patrol vessel, Gondan shipyard Spain.
- P3124 KNS Jasiri
- Built 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 vessel
- P3134 KNS Harambee II
- Built to civilian standards in 1997 and entered service in 1997. Armed with a 76mm and a 30mm gun in Kenya.
- Nyayo Class missile boats
- P3126 KNS Nyayo
- P3127 KNS Umoja
- Built 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 boats
- P3100 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 ships
- L39 KNS Tana
- L38 KNS Galana
- Built 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 IPV
- USGS Defender Class RHIB with outboard motors
- P101 Class IPVs
- These 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 Tenders
- YTB Harbour Tug
- KNS Ngamia
- Built 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.
- Ford class seaward defence boat
- KNS Nyati
- Donated 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 craft
- Training craft was retired in 2000.
- Simba Class patrol crafts (from the UK)
- P3110 KNS Simba – retired 2000
- P3111 KNS Chui
- P3112 KNS Ndovu
- These 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 Jamhuri
- P3123 KNS Harambee
- P3121 KNS Madaraka
- These 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: Memorable events Archived 1 July 2007 at Archive.is
- Kenya Navy: History Archived 19 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- History of the Kenyan Navy Archived 19 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Kenya's navy shells Kismayo in Somalia". BBC. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Guy Martin. "Defence Web".
- "Mer et Marine: "La Rieuse officiellement cédée à la marine kényane"". Mer et Marine. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011.
- "Astilleros Gondán :: Patrolboat".
- Jane's Fighting Ships 2008
- Daily Nation, Saturday Magazine, 28 August 1999: An introduction to the marine forces
- "Jane's: "Kenya (Kenya), The market – Procurement and upgrades"".
- Google earth placemarks: Kenya Navy
- Daily Nation, 7 March 2002: Naval vessels, spare parts to be sold
- Archangel Class Archived 20 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Defender Class Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kenya Navy: Online museum Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.