KDF to buy 118 top military vehicles to fight Al- Shabaab terror outfit



The Department of Defence is set to procure 118 Armored Personnel Carriers from Turkey.

The move is aimed at ensuring maximum survivability of its troops as they tackle the al Shabaab militia in Somalia.

KDF Spokesperson Col Zipporah Kioko said DoD is finalising the deal with a Turkish firm to bring in the 118 high-performance APCs.

Kioko said that the deal is at an advanced stage and that procurement of the APCs was on a need basis to provide protective mobility for troops wherever they are deployed.

It has also established that it will cost the taxpayer an estimated Sh7.7 billion for the government to purchase the more than 118 APCs through the Export Credit Agency.

The current APC fleet in the KDF consists of Puma M26-15, WMZ 551BSI, Mamba MK5, Bastion and CS/VP 14, all introduced into service between 2010 and 2019.

All of them have been deployed in the country and in Somalia to address security threats but a significant number has been rendered inoperable due to the changing threat environment.

“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 reinforced with complex ambushes,” Kioko said.

The acquisition was cleared by DoD’s procurement board meeting after it approved the sourcing of the HIZIR Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) Armored Personnel Carriers (APC).

Three firms had applied for the tender but only the Turkish firm Katmerciler HIZIR met the user specifications.

The two other firms are from South Africa and North America.

The Katmerciler HIZIR is a 4×4 Tactical Wheeled Armoured Vehicle designed and optimised for high performance under extreme operational conditions.

The APC has a proven track record in Syria where the Turkey forces operate and face similar threats as KDF troops face in Somalia.

The vehicle has a high level of ballistic and mine protection. It is agile, dynamic, versatile, low maintenance and easy care platform.

It was unveiled in November 2016 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the 3rd High-Tech Port expo of Turkey’s Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MUSIAD).

Tested in the Netherlands and certified by NATO, the vehicles can be used in various configurations such as combat vehicle, command control vehicle, CBRN vehicle, weapon carrier (easy integration of various weapon systems), ambulance vehicle, border security vehicle and reconnaissance vehicle.