Fincantieri said the contract, gained in 2008 bidding against competitors from Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa, is indicative of the company's interest in the African market, which has seen a significant increase in demand for new vessels in response to the need to guarantee a greater control of territorial waters and to combat terrorist attacks, piracy and illegal fishing activities.
Classified as "fast attack craft," the Nyayo and Umoja were built at the British shipyards Vosper Thornycroft and delivered to Kenya in 1988. Each is 186 feet long, with a displacement of about 450 tons and can reach a maximum speed of almost 40 knots.
They are the only ships in service in the Kenyan navy and will carry out coastal patrols and activities to combat smuggling and piracy.
The work carried out on both vessels included reconstruction of the hulls, propulsion system maintenance and replacement of all command-and-control equipment.
Replacement or piping, full reconditioning and partial replacement of the furnishings, insulation and flooring and installation of new equipment was also included.
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