Kenya’s Department of Defense has cleared the procurement of 118 state-of-the-art military vehicles from Turkey at a price of nearly $70 million, Kenya’s military official said.
Kenya Defense Forces Spokeswoman Zipporah Kioko told Kenya’s Star newspaper on Monday that the East African country is focused on ensuring the survivability of its troops deployed in the fight against al-Shabaab militants from Somalia, thus the need to procure 118 high-performance armored personnel carriers (APCs).
Kioko said: “The Kenya Army thus made a critical assessment and established that the contemporary operating environment has evolved significantly with major threats to the APCs being Vehicle Borne IEDs (VBIEDs), directional IEDs and IEDs improvised explosive devices] reinforced with complex ambushes.”
She added that from a pool of three firms that had applied to supply Kenyans with the APCs, only Turkish company Katmerciler HIZIR met all the necessary requirements, beating two other contenders from South Africa and North America.
Somali-based al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab militants have been targeting security officers patrolling the Kenya-Somali border.