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Kenya buys 12 US helicopters amid rising concern, hue and cry over public debt

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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.

WAR AGAINST TERROR

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.

READ ALSO:   CORRUPTION: Kenyans in US want their country "closed for renovations" [PHOTOS]

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.

Kenya 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.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I thought Uhuru would receive me at the airport, says Raila

“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.

READ ALSO:   IN PICTURES: Uhuru at the White House

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.

-nation.co.ke

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SPONSORED: Mahiga Homes Directors embark on a meet-the people tour of USA [VIDEO]

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Mahiga homes Directors Mr. Patrick Muchoki and Mr. Joseph Ruhiu will embark on tour of meet the people in the USA on 12th to 13th October 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia where they will be attending the Anniversary of Kikuyu Diaspora Media owned by the Ceo Jeremy Damaris.

Mahiga Homes Ltd is a Real estate developer doing decent and affordable housing. We set out to deliver homes within 12 months, at an affordable rate, in a secure and serene environment. We are passionate about quality of product/ service and meeting of set deadlines. Our values are anchored on a strong foundation of ownership. Mahiga Homes is building the first modern real estate platform in Kenya by pairing the industry’s top talent with technology to make homes acquisition experience intelligent and seamless.

Thereafter they will head to Boston Acre Pub, Lowell 282 Fletch Street on 18th to 19th October where they will meet the esteemed clients there. At Boston it will be a goat eating event as they offer you affordable houses at flexible payment plan.
Here are the affordable houses that they are currently selling;

Mahiga homes Ltd affordable houses.

 

Rockvilla III Estate located just 300 meters off tarmac at Joska along kangundo road, Kangundo rd is under construction to upgrade to dual carriageway,Spa cious 3 bedroom bungalows master ensuite on plot size 40 by 80 kes 3.95m deposit kes 1.6m then pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I may form a government in exile, says Raila

Brickstone Gardens located off Thika rd superhighway on Kenyatta rd just 300 meters off tarmac, Luxurious 3 br bungalows master ensuite,on plot size 40 by 80, offer price kes 4.25m

 

 

Osoit II Gardens Kitengela just 900 meters off Namanga rd, along Acacia road near Kitengela International School, Spacious 3 br bungalows master ensuite on plot size 50 by 100, offer price kes 4.85m, deposit kes 1.7m then pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments.

The RIVERFRONT, Spacious and Luxurious 3 bedroom bungalows, all bedrooms ensuite, on plot size 50 by 100, kitchen with pantry, located in Ruiru suburbs overlooking Tatu city kes 5.5m deposit kes 2m and pay the balance in 12 monthly instalments.

For more info
Call/WhatsApp +254720460413
www.mahigahomes.co.ke

 

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SPONSORED: ‘Mahiga Homes’ introduces Rockvilla Annex

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MAHIGA HOMES is a Real Estate development company doing decent and affordable housing. It has earned the reputation on delivering homes on time within a period of between 10-12 months (depending on the project), at an affordable rate. All the homes are in secure and serene environments, accessible from the Central Business District (CBD)  of Nairobi.

Hand-selected by local experts, these homes – curated by design, amenities, and neighbourhood – provide a visual snapshot of the most sought after properties around. Mahiga homes are affordable, luxurious and are of modern designs. The team is passionate about quality of product/ service and meeting of set deadlines.

And now….INTRODUCING ROCKVILLA ANNEX…
3 bedrooms master ensuite, sitting on 40 by 80 plots
#MAHIGAHOMESDELIVERS
#MAHIGAHOMES
#NEWESTATE
#AFFORDABLEHOUSING
Call/whatsapp :+254705838117

What you see is what you get.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I may form a government in exile, says Raila
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Kenyans had Sh60 billion ‘hidden under mattress’

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After a four-month-long demonetisation exercise, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has invited detectives to examine 3,172 suspicious deposits.

The Kenya Revenue Authority can also stake a claim to Sh60 billion in new deposits flagged in the exercise.But the currency audit numbers tell only part of the narrative.

The full story will unfold as individuals found to have made suspicious deposits begin their appointments with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the taxman and other investigative agencies.

It is a story that is likely to expose the rot in the country’s financial system, which was expected for an exercise that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government believed was necessary to restore order in the banking industry.

For the last four months to September, the CBK has been steadfast in its pursuit to unearth the dirty money, and it put out 15,000 advertisements.

Governor Patrick Njoroge yesterday said they had flagged 3,172 suspicious transactions whose value he did not reveal.In his last press briefing on demonetisation, Dr Njoroge said condemned notes valued at Sh7.4 billion had been rendered worthless after its holders failed to beat the September 30 deadline to exchange them with new notes.

Although some journalists felt that the Sh7.4 billion figure was smaller than expected, the CBK governor said the demonetisation process had successfully met its twin objectives of curtailing illicit financial transactions as well as the proliferation of fake currency.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I may form a government in exile, says Raila

Curiously, the money that did not find its way back into the banking system was almost as much as the Sh7.7 billion that the country lost through the Goldenberg scandal in the 1990s.

Njoroge said the lost cash could be part of the dirty money its holders had been unable to redeem.He added that other investigative agencies – including the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Financial Reporting Centre – had crucial information pertinent to their mandate.

“There is good information that these agencies will continue to work on,” said Njoroge, adding that the fight against dirty cash did not end on September 30.The Government also drew the taxman’s attention to Sh60 billion that found its way into the formal banking system.He said with the end of the exercise, KRA could now deal with tax matters more easily after discovery of the new fortunes.

The governor noted that with so much cash finding its way into the banks, more transactions were going to be cashless.“The demonetisation process proceeded very well,” said Njoroge, noting that majority of the transactions were below Sh1 million.

This means that 99 per cent of the money that went into bank accounts was not subjected to the stringent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) rules.Deposits or withdrawals of less than Sh1 million are not subjected to additional scrutiny.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kisumu reacts to Supreme court ruling

Reject deposits

But Njoroge insisted that at no point did banks fail to comply with the AML/CFT measures, saying some banks even rejected deposits.He, however, did not give the number of times banks did this or the value of money that was rejected.

The governor conceded that there had also been a lot of work done on the counterfeit front following increased incidences of fake money circulating.  He, however, acknowledged that a few transactions might have “slipped through filters” into the banking system.

When he announced the demonetisation process on May 1, Njoroge cited the need to combat illicit financial flows in the country and region, which had largely been perpetuated by the condemned notes.

During the demonetisation period, money flowed back into the financial system in billions of shillings, as Kenyans who had put their savings “under the mattress” opted to park their wealth in bank accounts.Njoroge said people did not exchange the old currency for new notes and take the money back to their hiding holes.

By October 1, there were 149.7 million pieces of the new Sh1,000 notes, against 209 million pieces that were deposited in bank accounts, leaving a difference of 60 million pieces.By June 1, when the demonetisation process began, there were 217 million pieces of the old Sh1,000 notes outside the banking system, representing 83.2 per cent of the total.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I thought Uhuru would receive me at the airport, says Raila

Unveiled with fanfare in 1994, the Sh1,000 notes bowed out of circulation with a tarnished reputation.Njoroge noted that the old note was the “oil that kept the wheels of corruption, drug trafficking, tax evasion and other crimes rolling”.

By Standard.co.ke

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