Libyan Navy is the maritime force of Libya, established in November 1962. It is a fairly typical small navy with a few missile frigates, corvettes and patrol boats to defend the coastline, but with a very limited self-defence capability. The Navy has always been the smallest of Libya's services and has always been dependent on foreign sources for equipment, spare parts, and training.
Its first warship was delivered in 1966. These were 2 Ham class minesweepers from the UK. Initially the effective force was limited to smaller vessels, but this changed after the rise of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 1969. From this time, Libya started to buy armaments from Europe and the Soviet Union. The Customs and Harbour police were amalgamated with the Navy in 1970, extending the Navy's mission to include anti-smuggling and customs duties. The total personnel of the Libyan Navy is about 8,000.
During the 2011 Libyan civil war several elements of the Libyan Navy were destroyed by NATO forces, including 8 warships in the night before 20 May and one on 17 August. Two were also captured by the rebels at Benghazi.
The Navy began the process of purchasing new boats in May 2012, mainly fast patrol boats for surveillance and border protection purposes, including the MRTP-20 fast attack boat.
As of June 2012, the Libyan Navy has been headed by Commodore Hassan Ali Bushnak, Chief of Staff of the Libyan Naval Force. The British Royal Navy along with the Libyan Navy held joint exercises together at Dartmouth Naval College in the UK in June 2012.
Libyan Navy ships under the command of Rida Issa, loyal to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, took part in the operation to liberate the city of Sirte from ISIL. The Libyan Navy assisted ground forces and blocked off sea escape routes for the militants. On 20 June 2016, the EU states announced that the naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea, Operation Sophia, will be extended until 2017, and will help train the Libyan navy and coast guard.