Namibian Defence Force Navy


Namibian Defence Force Navy

NDF Navy

History of the Namibian Navy

Development of Namibia’s navy has been slow, and the force was only formally established in 2004, fourteen years after independence. Extensive Brazilian aid has assisted in the development of the Namibian Navy. The naval pioneers were only sent to Brazil in 1995 after Walvis Bay was integrated into Namibia in 1994, they were the core group that would be responsible for setting up the navy. The group consisted of command and staff officers. They completed their studies in 1998 from the Admiral Wandenkolk Instruction Center,in Rio de Janeiro. The Maritime wing headquarters was then setup in 1998 while in 2000 the Navy base construction at Walvis Bay started. Consisting of approximately 900personnel the Navy deploys a small number of lightly armed patrol vessels. The first maritime wing commander was Captain Phestus Sacharia. The first ship to be commissioned into service was the donated patrol boat Oryx in 2002. Brazil and Namibia signed an agreement in 2004 for the delivery of a patrol boat and two smaller patrol craft. The newly built 200 ton patrol boat Brendan Simbwaye, built at the Brazilian shipyard INACE, was commissioned on January 19, 2009.An ongoing co-operation program allows Namibian sailors and naval officers to be trained by the Brazilian Navy; by 2009, 466 seamen had been trained. Brazil also provided assistance in preparing a nautical chart of the approach to Walvis Bay and consulting in charting the outer limits of the continental shelf. The Brazilian Navy has also trained the Namibian Marine Corps

The Namibian Navy uses the national flag as its ensign
The Ministry of Defence has outlined the Naval policy as follows:

“In peacetime, the Navy of the NDF have a role of augmenting civil offshore patrol forces, particularly providing the means and the expertise to execute enforcement action effectively. Specific tasks include assisting civil forces to combat illegal immigration, smuggling (arms, drugs etc.) and threats to the environment; conducting maritime surveillance, search and rescue; and assisting the Ministry of Fisheries with enforcing a fisheries protection regime. A longer term peacetime task is the protection of offshore oil, gas, diamonds and other installations. A navy aerial surveillance component is a necessary part of the defence system



Name Origin Class Type Built Entered service (LNF) Notes
Support Boat
S11 Elephant  China Elephant class Logistics Support Vessel 2012 2012 Multipurpose offshore Patrol and logistics vessel
Patrol Boat Squadron
P11 Brendan Simbwaye  Brazil Grajau Class Patrol Boat 2009 2010 Hull P11
P01 Oryx  Germany Oryx Class Patrol Boat 1975 2002 Transferred from Namibian Fisheries ministry to Navy
Harbor Boat Group
HPB20 Terrace Bay  Brazil Marlim Class Patrol Craft 2009 2010 Hull HPB20
HPB21 Möwe Bay  Brazil Marlim Class Patrol Craft 2009 2010 Hull HPB21
HPB01  South Africa Namacurra class harbour patrol boat Donated by the South African Navy
HPB02  South Africa Namacurra class harbour patrol boat Donated by the South African Navy

Other boats

In 2012/2013 the Namibian Navy ordered 19 new craft from Kobus Naval Design and Veercraft Marine of South Africa.

  • 5 Four meter Rowboats
  • 5 Six meter RHIBs
  • 2 Six Meter Harbor Patrol Boats
  • 2 Eight Meter Boarding Boats
  • 2 Eight Meter Swamp Boats
  • 1 Eleven Meter Landing Craft
  • 2 Fourteen Meter Interceptors

Decommissioned ships

  • 1 Imperial Marinheiro class corvette1025 standard tons(1954)
    • Lt Gen Dimo Hamaambo (C11) – ex Brazilian Navy

On Shore Facilities

Naval Base

The naval base is situated at the port of Walvis Bay. The base was inaugurated in 2012 though its building was completed in 2004. It is officially known as the Naval Base Captain PN Sacharia. Captain PN Sacharia was the then Maritime Wing’s first commander and was instrumental in its set up. The base has a 200 meter long jetty. The current base Commanding Officer is Captain Richard Kopano. The base also houses the navy headquarters.

Naval Calling Station

The naval Calling station is based at Namibia’s only other harbour town Luderitz. The Commanding officer of the unit is Commander Simiranü Elia Ndiyaamena who succeeded commander Armas Iigonda.

Naval Training School

The Training School is located at the Rooikop Military base.It was set up in 2009 . The school’s Commandant is Marine Captain(N) Lazarus Erastus.

Old Naval Base

The ‘Old Naval Base’ in Walvis Bay functions as the current headquarters of the Namibian Marine Corps.


The navy is a hierarchical organisation with the navy commander exercising overall command. The navy has 1000 personnel, most of whom have been trained in Brazil and South Africa. The Navy is further augmented by the Namibian Marine Corps.

Command Structure[

Sleeve insignia Appointment Rank and Name
Generic-Navy-O9.svg Navy Commander Rear Admiral Peter Vilho
UK-Navy-OF6.svg Chief of Naval Operations Rear Admiral(JG) S.N.B. Nghipandwa
UK-Navy-OF6.svg Chief of Naval Support Rear Admiral(JG) A.P Amungulu
Generic-Navy-O7.svg Chief of Naval Staff Captain(N) Petrus N. Tjandja
Generic-Navy-O7.svg Marine Corps Commandant Captain(N) Appolos Haimbala
Generic-Navy-O7.svg Naval Training School Commandant Captain(N) Lazarus Erastus
Master at Arms of the Navy


The Namibian Marine Corps are a unit of the Navy. Its role is to provide naval infantry, amphibious, diving and small boat capability to the Navy. At full strength they will be a battalion strong. The marines are trained by Brazilian naval instructors at the Naval Training School near Walvis Bay.The marine commandant is Captain Appolos Haimbala

Ranks and Insignia

Naval ranks and insignia are based on the Royal Navy. Non-Commissioned Officers only retain the ranks as their insignia consists of a system of chevrons. The same ranks are also used by the Namibian Marine Corps. The highest rank in peace time a commissioned officer can attain in the navy is Rear Admiral. There may however be an exception when a naval officer is appointed as Chief of the Defence Force for which the individual which ascend to the rank of Vice-Admiral.The highest rank an enlisted member can attain is Warrant Officer Class 1 but the highest appointment is Namibian Defence Force Sergeant Major.

Officer Rank Insignia

Commissioned officer rank structure of the Namibian Navy
Rear Admiral Rear Admiral(Junior Grade) Captain
Radm-Can-2010.png Cdre-Can-2010.png Capt(N)-Can-2010.png
RAdm RAdm(JG) Capt(N)
Commander Lieutenant commander Lieutenant Lieutenant (junior grade) Ensign Midshipman
Cmdr-Can-2010.png Lcdr-Can-2010.png Leut-Can-2010.png Slt-Can-2010.png Aslt-Can-2010.png
Cdr LCdr Lt(N) LT(JG) Ensign Midshipman

Non-commissioned officers and other Appointments

Warrant Officer’s can hold the following appointments.

  • Sergeant Major of the Namibian Defence Force
  • Master-at-Arms of the Navy
  • Command-Master-at-Arms
  • Master-at-Arms

Warrant Officers

  • Warrant Officer Class 1
  • Warrant Officer Class 2

Senior Ratings

  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer

Junior Ratings

  • Leading Seaman
  • Able Seaman
  • Seaman

See Also

Namibia Defence Force NDF Pages

Namibia Police Force NAMPOL Pages