Uganda, Kenya purchase advanced military helicopters to fight terrorism


Uganda and Kenya will be receiving advanced military helicopters in efforts to strengthen Amisom’s war against the Somali terrorists, Al Shabaab, reports The East African.

United States’ Bell will be delivering five Huey II helicopters to Uganda in August. A delivery considered to be one of the biggest purchases by Uganda since 2012 when it bought six SU-30MK fighter jets from Russia.

Bell Helicopters was awarded the 87.6 million USD contract September 2016 to supply the two East African nations with 13 helicopters and spares.

“We already have one of the helicopters in Amsterdam en route to Kenya for delivery, while the final order will follow soon after. We are also getting ready to deliver five to Uganda as well.

They should arrive in the third quarter of this year,” Arnie Easterly, Bell Helicopters director for sales and marketing in Africa said during the Paris Airshow two weeks ago.

Kenya got six of the Huey II helicopters in December 2016, two last month and an unknown number of AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters from Jordan as part of its military partnership with Jordan in September last year. The country is now awaiting delivery of a dozen MD 530F armed light helicopters approved y the US army security Assistance Command.

Bell is expected to have completed deliveries to both countries by the end of this year according to the United States Department of Defence.

These new helicopters have a better range, faster cruise speed and maneuverability according to The East African.

Kenya, Uganda and Burundi contribute troops to The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

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