skip to main content

Djibouti substantially expands navy

One of the two Damen FCS 5009 patrol vessels that arrived in Djibouti on 22 November. (Forces Armées Djiboutiennes )

Djibouti's Navy formally took delivery of four vessels in a ceremony attended by President Ismail Omar Guelleh on 22 November.

Photographs released by the Armed Forces of Djibouti (FAD) and local television coverage showed two Damen FCS 5009 high-endurance patrol vessels, a landing ship similar to the Chinese Type 074 Yuhai class, and a smaller patrol boat that looked like the 27 m vessel China delivered to Côte d'Ivoire in 2017.

The 53 m-long Damens are named Capt Elmi Robleh and Adj Ali M Houmed . Ship tracking data shows they arrived from Cape Town, where Damen has a shipyard, on the day of the ceremony.

They each have two Damen 1102 FRP interceptors that can be launched and recovered using davits and a Rheinmetall Searanger remotely operated weapon station (ROWS) on their foredecks, although their 20 mm guns were not fitted for the ceremony.

Satellite imagery shows that the 66 m landing ship and patrol boat have been docked in Djibouti since April.

The landing ship has a Norinco 30 mm H/PJ17 ROWS, a cargo crane, a small boat that can be launched from davits on its starboard side, and two pintel-mounted heavy machine guns either side of its bridge.

“Two of these ships are intended to carry out surveillance and deterrent missions both in the territorial waters of Djibouti and in the strategic maritime areas, including the strait of Bab al-Mandab,” the president said in his speech.

He described the third as “a ship specialising in transporting mechanised units of the infantry” and said the fourth would monitor Djibouti's territorial waters.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...