The United States donated six units of Metal Shark patrol boats to the Kenyan Navy on 27th February 2017, bringing the total number to 10.
During the handover, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert F Godec said, “Today we reaffirm that the United States is and will remain your steadfast partner in the fight against terrorism and extremism. We are pleased today to make this important contribution to Kenyan and regional security and look forward to the excellent work the Kenya Navy will do with these vessels. The Metal Sharks will bolster the Kenya Navy’s capacity to combat al-Shabaab, an effort that will bring about a more stable and peaceful East Africa.”
The US Embassy in Kenya on 27 February said the boats are worth 500 million Shillings ($4.9 million) and were delivered to the Kenyan Navy in Mombasa. “The 10 Metal Shark boats represent the largest US maritime security cooperation program in sub-Saharan Africa. The United States values the Kenyan commitment to building a more peaceful and secure Kenya and East Africa region,” the US Embassy said.
“We are pleased today to make this important contribution to Kenyan and regional security and look forward to the excellent work the Kenya Navy will do with these vessels,” the envoy said.
He added that “The Metal Sharks will bolster the Kenya Navy’s capacity to combat al-Shabaab, an effort that will bring about a more stable and peaceful East Africa.
According to the manufacturer Metal Shark Aluminium, Metal Shark 28 Relentless is a welded aluminum high-performance center console vessel designed for inland, coastal, and offshore use. Its versatile, crew-friendly layout ideal makes it an ideal platform for law enforcement, security, and response missions.
With a high-performance hull designed by renowned naval architect Michael Peters, the 28 Relentless provides outstanding speed and maneuverability, yet still provides a comfortable, dry ride in rough waters
The final six of 10 boats provided through an Sh500 million grant from the US Department of Defence have been delivered to the Kenya Navy in Mombasa.
The Metal Shark boats will be used to enhance Kenya Navy’s Maritime Domain Awareness capability and support the Kenyan Blue Economy. The will bolster the Kenya Navy’s capability to deploy Kenyan Rangers and other quick reaction forces from the sea and to patrol and defend the more than 500 km maritime border. They will help the Kenya Navy, and KDF at large, to continue forward in the fight against terrorism, the Embassy said.
The US military previously donated several Metal Shark boats to Cabo Verde and Senegal to enhance maritime security and combat drug trafficking. Two 38 foot (11.5 m) Defiant class patrol boats were handed over to the Senegalese Navy on 8 February 2018 and five 21 foot Relentless class patrol boats were delivered to the Cabo Verde Maritime Police in December 2017.