By Watchdog reporter
Kenya’s ministry of defence has bought 14 weaponised jets from USA.
The US State Department approved to sale the aircrafts to the Kenya Defence Forces valued at Sh1.5 trillion (KSh43 billion). The army jets include 12 Air Tractor aircrafts and the two training crafts. The weapons purchase package include, technical support and programme management.
The cat was let out of the bag by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. In its notification to congress, the agency said the sale will bolster efforts to counter Al Shabaab in Somalia as the AT- 802L are more fiscally efficient and able to be pre-positioned much closer to the conflict area than the current aging F-5 fleet.
“The proposed sale provides a needed capability in the ongoing efforts to counter al-Shabaab. The platform maximizes the Kenyan Defense Force’s Close Air Support (CAS) ability because it is a short-field aircraft capable of using precision munitions and cost effective logistics and maintenance.” The notification reads.
The Agency has also approved the sale on the grounds that it will not alter the military balance in the region or adversely impact the US defence readiness.
“This proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strong regional partner who is a regional security leader undertaking critical operations against alShabaab and troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).”