Kenya defies austerity, buys 12 US helicopters

Mkiitwa shithole mnakasirika.
Kenya is set to acquire six new US-made light attack helicopter gunships in a multi-billion shilling deal that is being closed in the middle of severe austerity, an international arms magazine has said.
The planes are part of the $253 million (Sh25 billion) arms deal that Nairobi signed with Washington and got the United States Congress approval in May last year.
UK-based defence magazine IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly says in its latest edition that the six MD Helicopters Inc (MDHI) MD530F Cayuse Warrior scout and light-attack platforms will be delivered between April and August next year.
The contract, which Arizona-based manufacturer MD Helicopters announced last Thursday, covers half the 12 helicopters that were approved by the US State Department in May 2017.
The Kenya Army said it plans to use the choppers against Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants and in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
The deal includes 12 MD530F Cayuse Warrior light attack helicopters, machine gun pod systems, rocket launcher systems and assorted ammunition.
The new arms acquisitions signal President Uhuru Kenyatta’s resolve to continue upgrading Kenya’s military capabilities despite his recent push for austerity that last month shaved off Sh34.33 billion from the development budget.
Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, has in recent years suffered deadly gun and bomb attacks from the Al-Shabaab militants who are demanding withdrawal of Kenyan troops from the Horn of Africa nation.
enya does not make public its military purchases and only Parliament is mandated to scrutinise expenditure by key security organs.
The US manufacturer’s contract notification for Kenya says the helicopters will be fitted with enhanced firepower, including the FN Herstal Weapons Management System, the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS) and the DillonAero fixed-forward sighting system.
Besides, the planes have a 62mm ballistic armour protection, FN Herstal 12.7mm HMP 400 machine gun pods and M260 seven-shot pods for 70mm rockets.
Kenya is procuring the MD 530Fs to replace existing MD 500 platforms that are flown by the 50th Air Cavalry Battalion and constitutes the core of the reconnaissance equipment supporting ground forces.
Afghan Air Force has used helicopters that are similar to the six Kenya is about to acquire under the proposed deal. The efficacy of the gunships was, however, questioned last year, according to an interview in the New York Times.
Afghanistan’s most decorated pilot, Colonel Qalandar Shah Qalandari, was quoted as saying, among other things, that the helicopters “cannot reach areas where Taliban insurgents operate from because they cannot cross the mountain ranges that surround Kabul.”
If we go down after the enemy we’re going to have enemy return fire, which we can’t survive. If we go up higher, we can’t visually target the enemy. Even the guns are no good,” he said of the planes.
US Defence Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) had, however, said earlier in a May 2, 2017 statement that the helicopters will go towards helping Kenya “modernise its rotorcraft fleet in order to improve border security, undertake operations against Somalia-based jihadist group Al-Shabaab and contribute to the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).”
Kenya has consistently upgraded its military hardware in recent years, raising its spending on the armed forces to Sh96 billion in 2016 to stand above neighbouring Ethiopia and Uganda combined, a global report said.
Nairobi’s arms orders, which have stoked fears of an arms race in the region, last year included a second-hand naval gun, AK-630 30mm, from Montenegro “for modernisation of Jasiri OPV (offshore patrol vessel)”.
Besides, the Kenya Defence Forces last July received the last two of the eight Bell Huey II helicopters it ordered from the US to reinforce its air assault capability against terrorists.
Jordan, a long-time seller of arms to Nairobi, last year also donated two second-hand AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters to Kenya.
Under the earlier US deal with Nairobi, the 12 MD530F weaponised helicopters were to be supplied together with 24 heavy machine gun pods, 24 HMP400 machine gun pod systems, 24 M260 rocket pods and 4,032 M151 high-explosive rockets.
The planes were also to be fitted with 1,536 M274 smoke rockets, 400,000 rounds of .50 calibre ammunition and communications/ navigation equipment.
Kenya was also to get logistics support, training and technical assistance, spare parts and field service support and special assigned airlift mission (SAAM) flight delivery under the deal.
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An arms race???

Kenya’s military budget is double the size of its neighbors. Yet we are lacking in equipment which we should be sourcing locally.

What kind of equipment are those locally? Fafanua priss…

Whats the big issue with upgrading the Armed forces?

Wrong thread title.

Kenya defies US-backed IMF austerity conditions to buy 12 US manufactured helicopters.

Locally made jeeps and trucks. The military buys imported junk. I haven’t forgotten the Chinese trucks they bought from China a few years ago that ended up killing soldiers in road accidents.

MRAPs and APC’s can be also built locally instead of us spending several billion shillings importing them and then they get destroyed after a few months of use. Such a local industry could give those the hundreds of not thousands of people in R&D, steel sector, Mechanics, engineers, laborers etc.

Bullets are already made locally but I’d like them to go a set further and start developing missiles and bombs. This should help make it easier to resupply both the Army and Airforce.

Shipbuilding of Naval vessels at the coast could provide jobs and allow the Kenya Navy to bulk up it vessels.

A well placed local defense industry to give skills and jobs to many and keeping our Nation and neighbors supplied and secure.

Uko na point, but, are there any companies in kenya that deal with building military vehicles? Ama you expect guys like Mobius to tender for supply of military trucks? It just doesn’t happen like that. Apart from the chinese ones, most of these vehicles being used by the KDF are tried-and-tested machines.
A country, kwanza third world doesn’t just wake up one day and decide we gonna build missiles and Bombs for our planes/choppers/Grenade launchers. Hiyo launcher/ plane kwenye ulinunua has the absolute right to allow or deny you. Unless there’s an agreement, it ain’t happening. Then kuna those arms control and convention treaties. Going against those will have the mighty US/UK landing at your doorstep with all their full force…

Facts only . Look to India (Hindustan) and Iran for inspiration. India for example has got many admirers Build kenya, we got no shortage of Brain and manpower…just lack of executive willpower.

This is just the US laundering it’s printed money. US prints $600m “gives” it to Kenya as military aid with the requirement that the money is used to purchase American gear.

Austerity is for the poor.

There’s IVECO they had one the Thika bodybuilders fabricate the armored a vehicle which Kabogo was driving around. And a few years ago a UK firm had signed a deal to build a factory in Mombasa building MRAPS but the deal collapsed due to the taxes and ignorance from DoD.

Mobius doesn’t have the capacity at the moment. But they’re guys like GM who build Izuzu trucks which can be built to military specifications if DoD approached them.

Is Kenya under any arms embargoes? It can build whichever weapons it wants. It would be cheaper if KDF fabricated its own mortar shells, artillery shells, grenades etc. because these are the basics of basics for any armed forces to have a secure ammunition supply.

people do need to get fired. even after being warned about the purchase of these helicopters that will make us use more money in maintaining them, someone in the DoD still okeyed the deal