In 1965 the Soviet Union helped Somalia establish a navy. As part of its mission to help SNA forces maintain coastal security, the navy maintained bases at Berbera, Mogadishu, and Chisimayu, and a radar site at Merca.
In 1990 the naval inventory included two Soviet Osa-II missile-armed fast attack craft, four Soviet Mol PFT torpedo-armed fast attack craft, and several patrol craft. The Somali navy also possessed a Soviet Polnocny-class landing ship capable of carrying five tanks and 120 soldiers, and four smaller mechanized landing craft. Much of this equipment had been unserviceable since the departure of Soviet military personnel in 1977.
The navy has not been operational since 1991.