France donates patrol vessel to Kenya to facilitate fight against piracy


The French government has donated a patrol ship to the Kenya Navy to assist in the fight against piracy, drug trafficking and terrorism in the Indian Ocean.

The Nairobi Star reports French ambassador in Kenya Etienne de Poncins saying his government had donated the La Rieuse so Kenya could enforce law and order on the high seas.
“The French government has donated this ship to help the Kenyan navy to monitor crimes in the Indian Ocean. The ship is efficient and it will bring a big change to the Kenyan Coast and Indian Ocean as a whole,” he said.

The P400 class patrol vessel previously belonging to the French Navy was handed over to Kenya on Tuesday.

France and Kenya have been discussing the delivery of La Rieuse for several months.

La Rieuse was previously deployed to France’s overseas territories, where it carried out sea monitoring missions and securing France’s Exclusive Economic Zone. According to Linfo, La Rieuse patrolled the waters around Reunion, Mauritius and Madagascar.

The 370 tonne diesel propelled La Rieuse has a top speed of 44 km/h (24 knots). She is one of ten P400 class vessels commissioned by the French Navy in 1986. They are being upgraded and should remain in service with France for at least another five years.

The P400 class vessels are fitted with a hydraulic crane capable of lifting 2.5 tons, allowing the ship to lift small boats and other objects out of the water.

The type’s maritime patrol mission is facilitated by an Operational Centre that uses radar indicators and tracking tables to monitor activity on the water.

La Rieuse has a complement of 29 and can stay at sea for 15 days. The ship can also ferry 20 people, and up to 60 for short periods in calm seas. Armament includes a 40 mm gun, 20 mm gun and two 7.62 mm machine guns.