New Trump administration approves Sh43bn military arms deal with Kenya

The deal includes the sale of 12 Air Tractor aircrafts with weapons and related support including two AT-504 trainer aircraft to the Kenyan Government.

An Air Tractor aircraft. The US Government has approved the sale of 12 Air Tractor aircrafts with weapons and related support including two AT-504 trainer aircraft to the Kenyan Government.

The deal includes the sale of 12 Air Tractor aircrafts with weapons and related support including two AT-504 trainer aircraft to the Kenyan Government after the required certification notifying the US Congress of the approved deal was delivered to Capitol Hill on January 19.

According to a statement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Kenya who is a regional security leader undertaking critical operations against Al-Shabaab and troop contributor to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Al Shabaab threat

The platform will aim at maximizing the Kenyan Defense Force's (KDF) Close Air Support (CAS) ability as it fights off the Al Shabaab threat in the region.

The proposed sale will supplement Kenya's aging F-5 aircraft as it will be more fiscally efficient and able to be pre-positioned much closer to the conflict area than the current F-5 fleet.

The US government was confident that the KDF which is modernizing its air fleet will be more than capable of absorbing the new fleet of military aircraft.

The prime contractor of the deal will be L-3 Communications, Platform Integration Division of Waco, Texas.

The deal is set to calm nerves in the country after newly sworn in President Donald Trump had questioned US involvement in the war against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, saying it has lasted 10 years without yielding tangible results.

Mr Trump’s transition panel had raised concerns on how the money that Washington donates to various causes in Africa is spent.

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