Kenya Defense Forces is set to receive a huge amount of weapons and military aircrafts from the United States, following its weapons deal.
The US State Department approved the KSh 43 Billion weapons deal as part of the US foreign and national security deal.
The deal is aimed at improving the security of the strongest regional security partner who has undertaken to fight al Shabaab and has contributed troops to African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
KDF will be purchasing through the deal 12 Air Tractor AT-802L and two AT-504 Trainer aircrafts. There will also be a weapons package, technical support and program management from the United States.
The potential deal, which is yet to be finalized, has been sent to congress for approval by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency who delivered the required certification.
US Congress will be looking to see if the support and current weapons deal to Kenya will alter the basic military balance in the region.
In December, the KDF received a donation of eight Bell Huey II helicopters from the US to support the fight against insurgents. The helicopters were improved versions of the decades-old Bell UH-1H combat operation helicopters with a more expansive cabin, providing multi-mission flexibility and a standard seating of 12 people.
The Air Tractor aircraft will bolster KDF’s Close Air Support ability because the planes are short-field aircrafts. They are capable of using precision munitions and are also cost effective in logistics and maintenance.
It will supplement KDF’s F-5 fleet more efficiently by positioning much more closer to the conflict area than the F-5 fleet which have to be deployed form the Laikipa Air base.
The Kenyan government is modernizing its military aircrafts and artillary to optimum capabilities in the war against terror. More fighter planes are expected from Jordan, who are training several Kenyan pilots.