12 Aug 2017 - The Eritrean Navy was formed from the remnants of the Ethiopian Navy, all of which was based on the Eritrean coast.
Freedom fighting in Eritrea began in 1961, eleven years after the United Nations had placed the territory under Ethiopian administration. Eritrean guerrillas fought a protracted war to liberate their country. Some members of the Ethiopian Navy deserted to the guerrillas in 1977-81, but an Eritrean navy was not created until 1988.
After the Second Congress of the EPLF (Eritrean People’s Liberation Front) an offensive force was proposed. The EPLF armed some motor launches and use them to attack coastal shipping in the Red Sea. They captured some merchant vessels and used their motor lifeboats to augment its Navy.
These forces played a critical role at the Battle of Massawa in 1990 when they sank several Ethiopian warships in the harbor. The EPLF launched a sea-borne assault against Massawa, the main base of the Ethiopian Navy, which fell after a two-day battle (8-10 February 1990). Fenkil is also known as the battle for the Independence of Eritrea, when the Eritrean Marine with small boats attacked big military ships. The war ended in May 1991 with complete victory for the Eritreans and the Ethiopian Fleet fleeing to Yemen and Djibouti.
At the close of the Eritrean War of Independence the balance of the Ethiopian Navy was inherited by this Naval force. Since independence, the Eritrean Navy has expanded its fleet of high-speed patrol boats. This branch of the Eritrean Defence Forces served with distinction under the command of then Commander Tewolde Kelati (now Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources).
The navy had one missile craft as of 2015, along with several inshore patrol boats, and three amphibious vehicles of unknown serviceability.
According to Spanish media in 2015, Eritrea ordered 40 boats and received the first four patrol vessels of the order from Rodman Polyships shipyard in Meira, Spain.
In 1999 an Australian company, Seachrome Marine International, was conducting a training workshop for 54 Eritrean nationals on Halib Island in the Red Sea, Eritrea. The workshop concentrated on longline fishing gear fabrication. Sea Chrome Marine International is a well-known company in the region and has a history of being one of the largest producers of top quality fibreglass fishing vessels in Australia.
In 1997 the management at Sea Chrome Marine were approached by representatives of the Government of Eritrea, who were interested in purchasing several Australian-made fibreglass fishing boats in two size ranges: 11 metres and 18 metres. They were also looking for a design that would be suitable for the Eritrean navy as an armed patrol boat, primarily to be used for fisheries and coastal surveillance work.
The negotiations took a bright turn for Sea Chrome when the Eritrean Government offered to buy the entire company. The package that was agreed upon included moving Sea Chrome’s entire physical plant to Halib Island in Assab Bay, Eritrea and in hiring, on a contract basis, a large proportion of Sea Chrome’s Australian workforce for a period of six years.
In less than two years’ time, the shipyard, which is operated as a joint venture between Sea Chrome and the Government of Eritrea, has been fully restored and has produced several vessels (pictured) including 11 m and one 18 m longline boats. They have also completed several 10 m and 17 m patrol boats, some of which have been exported to neighboring African countries.
Here is below the Eritrean Navy war-machines beside its own produced fast attack craft boats.
2 X Petya II Frigate
2 X Turya F AC(T) hydrofoil Patrol
4 X Osa II FAC(M) Patrol
2 X Mol FAC(T) Patrol
3 X Swift Patrol
2 X Zhuk Patrol
4 X Sewart Patrol
1 X Wildervank Minesweeper
2 X Polnocny B Amphibious Warfare
4 X EDIC-class LCU Landing craft
4 X T-4-class LCVP Landing craft
1 X Barnegat Training Ship
1 X U/I Support Ship