The piracy problem affecting shipping transport across the horn of Africa has become a problem for the Kenyan Economy because it is diminishing the volume of shipping using the Indian Ocean route and endangering the lives of crew and seafarers that use this route. Kenya’s Chief of Staff General Jeremiah Kianga was recently quoted as saying that Kenya’s Airforce would patrol the Kenyan’s territory at sea. Are Kenya’s armed forces prepared to handle this type of threat on its own territory. Do they have the capacity to protect Kenya from threats nearest to her.
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The army’s organisation is as follows: 2 armored brigades, 4 infantry brigades, 1 engineer brigade, 1 armoured reconnaissance battalion, 2 artillery battalions, 3 engineer battalions, 1 independent air cavalry battalion with 35 armed helicopters (Embakasi), 5 infantry battalions, 1 parachute battalion.
The country in 2007 imported 110 T-72 Tanks from Ukraine. 33 of the Same Tanks have been Hijacked by Somali pirates of the coast of Kenya in September 2008.
Other armoured vehicles in the arsenal include Recce: 72 x Panhard AML-60/-90, 12 x Ferret armoured car and 8 x Shorland armoured car which were intially designed in the 1950′s and purchased by Kenya’s first Independent regime.
- 7 Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter figher aircraft. There are reports that Kenya seeks to purchase an additional 15 used F5 fighter jets from Jordan.
- 37 helicopters (11 x Hughes 500MD Defender with TOW, 8 x Hughes 500ME Defender, and 15 x Hughes 500M Defender);
- 31 transport fixed wing (7 x de Havilland Canada DHC-5D Buffalo, 12 x Harbin Y-12 (II), 10 x Piper PA-31
- Navajo, 3 x de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8, 1x Fokker 70 (VIP), and 6 Dornier Do 28D-2 (in store);
- 23 transport helicopters (9 x IAR 330 Puma, 13 x Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma, and 1 x Aérospatiale SA 342 Gazelle);together with 34 training aircraft (12 x Scottish Aviation Bulldog 103/127, 8 x BAe Hawk Mk 52, 12 x Shorts Tucano, and 2 x helicopter Hughes 500D.
- The Air Force also has Air-to-Surface Missile (ASM) AGM-65 Maverick TOW, and Air-to-Air missile(AAM) AIM-9 Sidewinder.
- 10 x Missile Craft
- 6 x Patrol and Coastal Combatants
- 1 x Amphibious Craft; and 5 x Support Vessel