The United States Government has confirmed and approved the purchase of 12 made in America light attack helicopters which will help boost KDF air military capabilities.
According to Kenya Defence Force, the new attack helicopters; MD530 F are set to replace the aging MD500 fleet.
Kenya’s MD500 helicopters constitute the major reconnaissance equipment supporting KDF ground forces especially in the ongoing fight against the Islamist Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia.
The deal has been finalized despite opposition to an earlier weapon purchase deal made between Kenya and Washington.
According to the U.S. State Department, the total purchase is estimated to be worth $253 million (Sh25 billion).
Other reports have it that the U.S Army Security Assistance Command was expected to send Kenya a formal letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) which will serve as a seal to the completed deal.
However, KDF will receive 12 MD530F weaponized helicopters, 24 heavy machine gun pods, 24 HMP400 machine gun pod systems, 24 M260 rocket pods and 4,032 M151 high-explosive rockets.
Others equipment include 1,536 M274 smoke rockets, 400,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition and communications/navigation equipment.
U.S also accepted to provide Kenya with logistical support, training, field service support, technical assistance and spare parts under the deal.
The helicopter MD530F in the proposed sale was previously used for a similar mission scope by the Afghan Air Force.
This weapons deal also signifies the ongoing increased cooperation between the United States military and the Kenya Defence Force.
KDF will have the opportunity of partnering with the US military both in military training and assistance on field support and air strike tactics. For Kenyans, this would be a milestone achieved as
Al-Shabaab terrorists have long been striking in Somalia and Kenya Defence force has been in the forefront of fighting the Islamist terrorist sect. and we believe that with this modernized machineries it will go a long way in helping the KDF in this fight.
More so, as Kenya is preparing for the August 8 General Elections, the KDF and other security agencies are making sure peace and stability will be maintained in the East African Country.