US gives nod for $418m military aircraft sale to Kenya

Tuesday January 24 2017

A fighter jet. Kenya seeks to replace its aging F-5E fighters jets with Air Tractor AT- 802L armed aircrafts. PHOTO | FILE

The United States has approved a $418 million sale contract that will see Kenya acquire military equipment from a US-based firm.

In a statement, the US State Department said that the company, L-3 Communications, can now supply Kenya with 12 Air Tractor AT- 802L armed aircraft that will aid the country in its fight against Al-Shabaab terrorists group.

The sale contract also includes two AT-504 trainer aircraft and weapons packages.

“The Air Tractors are more efficient and able to fly closer to conflict zones than Kenya’s aging Northrop F-5E fighters,” the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notice said, adding that the short-field aircrafts are “capable of using precision munitions and cost effective logistics and maintenance.”

DSCA is mandated by law to certify any military equipment sale by American firms.

The US said that the proposed sale is part of its security co-operation effort with Kenya against the Somalia-based Al Shabaab.


The Texas-based L-3 Communications is expected to lead the implementation of the sale together with five contractor representatives in Kenya.

The sale approval comes barely a year after it emerged that Kenya was to purchase a $10 million drone from the US to boost its fight against the Somali militants. The drone was to be used to gather information about terrorists in their hideouts and to stage pre-emptive attacks. The country was to receive the equipment in September last year.

READ: Kenya buys US military drone for war against Somali terrorists