Kenya Seeking MD530Fs

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Kenya has requested 12 MD530F helicopters from the United States, along with weapons and ammunition. The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said it had approved the possible sale and notified Congress on May 1. The $253 million deal would include: 12 MD530Fs supplied by MD Helicopters; 24 HMP400 heavy machine gun pod systems; 24 M260 rocket launchers; 4,032 M151 rockets; 1,536 2.75in M274 smoke signature warhead rockets; and 400,000 rounds of 0.50 calibre ammunition. The DSCA said the MD530Fs would replace Kenya’s ageing MD500 fleet and contribute to the fight against al Shabaab militants in Somalia. The Kenyan Defence Force received 40 MD500 Defenders between 1980 and 1985, along with 2,100 TOW anti-tank missiles, and has used them heavily in combat. The East African country received the first of eight UH-1 Huey IIs from the United States in November 2016 and is seeking 12 Air Tractor AT-802Ls, two AT-504 trainer aircraft and weapons, worth $418 million. However, the proposed sale has been opposed by a US Congressman supporting Air Tractor rival IOMAX, which says it can supply similar aircraft for a fraction of the cost.