Source: Army Recognition
Kenya has acquired eight Russian made BRDM-3 reconnaissance vehicles and three helicopter gunships. The reconnaissance vehicles were acquired from Russia’s top arms company Rosoboronexport after Kenya sought to purchase 88 of these vehicles for a total cost of $105.6 million in August 2011.
The Kenya Air Force also acquired three Ulan Ude Mi-171 attack helicopters. One is reported to have crashed in Liboi on April 5th 2011. The helicopter gunships were delivered to the 50th Air Calvary Division in Kenya on January 3 this year from the Russian state owned corporation Rosoboronexport which is an intermediary for all imports and exports of military related hardware.
A Kenyan senior military officer confirmed that delivery of the aircraft and said that the orders were placed several years ago. The delivery dates were late 2011 and January 2012. The latest military purchases come after Kenya was put on the international limelight in 2007/8 following the hijacking by Somali pirates of the MV Faina carrying 33 T-72 tanks destined for Kenya but which were suspected to be en route to South Sudan.
Kenya insisted the tanks were for its own use although it has not filed an annual arms purchase report with the United Nations. The Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI), a Swedish based organization that monitors arms movements, last year reported that Kenya took delivery of an estimated 110 T-72 tanks.
SIPRI also revealed that during the same period Kenya acquired 11 BM-21 multiple rocket launchers. The Swedish organisation ranked Kenya as the eighth largest importer of arms in sub-Saharan Africa. It said Kenya had imported 655 rocket launchers, 550 machine guns and 44,500 assault rifles from Ukraine between 2007 and 2010.
Kenya late last year began the process of acquiring 16 Mi-28 ground attack helicopters for its Embakasi based 50th Air Calvary Division. The attack helicopter known as Havoc is an all-weather day and night military two-seater anti-armor aircraft. They will join the fleet of four Chinese made Z9WE attack helicopters which the military took delivery of last month. The Z9WE are anti armor attack helicopters are manufactured by Harbin Aircraft Industry Group, a China Aviation Industry Corporation owned company.