Kenya has decided to improve its fight against terrorism. The country is set to purchase a Sh1 billion state-of-the-art military weapon known as a drone from the United States. This is to improve its ability to battle terrorists.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) report released on Monday, Kenya is to procure unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from the United States.
The weapon is built by Insitu, a subsidiary of giant US aircraft maker Boeing.
The aircraft, which flies without any human aboard, famously known as a drone, is described as Kenya’s largest counter-terrorism weapon to be used in the fight against life-threatening groups such as Somalia-based Al Shabaab.
Controlled by no physical pilot, the flight of UAVs are flown with different kinds of autonomy: either by a given degree of remote control from an operator located on the ground or in another vehicle, or fully autonomously, by onboard computers.
Found in special operation applications, UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too “dull, deadly or risky.”
Also called ScanEagle, the aircraft will enable Kenyan security organs to have a close observation on Somalia-based Al Shabaab terrorists by monitoring their activities as well as other major crime scenes inside Kenya’s borders.
Sipri military expenditure programme director Samuel Perlo-Freeman said:
ScanEagle was ordered by the Kenyan government at a cost of $9.86 million (Sh1 billion)
Presumably, it is intended to boost the Armed Forces’ surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
This goes to show that Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) could send the unmanned aircraft to Somalia to elicit necessary information concerning the terrorists in their hideouts and to forestall the attacks by launching pre-preemptive strikes.
It could also help in keeping track of the militants’ communication, carrying out precision guided attacks on the militants, and possibly frustrating and preventing the training of new recruits.
Security experts hint that the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) might just be doctor’s prescription for Kenya’s military operations in volatile Somalia. This is is because the weapon makes it a lot easier to fight against terrorism through a coordinated and smart method to terrorism.
A Nairobi-based security expert Andrew Franklin.
This will enable consistency in monitoring known Al Shabaab infiltration routes into Kenya as well as criminal gangs smuggling commodities across the common border.
The spokesman of Kenyan military forces, Colonel David Obonyo, on Wednesday refused to release statement concerning the new purchase, insisting that the government does not announce its military purchases.
The aircraft is ready to be flown into the country in September.
If the purchase pulls through, it will place Kenya in the string of nations including the United States that uses drones to fight organised crime.
According to Sipri report, only a few countries make use of the ScanEagle as of yet, and they include Britain, Australia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Netherlands.
As a point of fact, the report shows that Kenya and Cameroon are the only two African nations that have ordered the ScanEagle
Islamist militants have carried a good number of terror attack on Kenya within and outside its territory.