A British defense equipment manufacturing company has established a state-of-the-art factory in Mombasa. The Sh3.5 billion Osprea Logistics plant will manufacture armoured personnel carriers for the region.
Ospera directors Roy Ndisi and Christian Bock said they hope that 50 per cent of the Mamba MK5 currently being used by Amisom troops in Somalia will be procured by Kenya.
"The plant will reduce the cost of procurement and maintenance of the APCs in the region. It will provide internship for students in research and development. We intend to employ retired military personnel experienced in mechanics, engineering and vehicle fleet management," Ndisi said.
The construction of the plant, which received approval from the Kenya Investments Authority, is now complete. "Osprea plans its first-year production of Mamba MK5's to be over 100 vehicles. This translates to work for over 200 people," Bock said yesterday in Nairobi.
Kenya will be the second country to manufacture the APCs, the other being South Africa whose products are used by the UN and AU. Over 200 such vehicles are currently in use by Amisom troops in Somalia.
Ndisi and Bock said they chose Kenya because of its logistical location, manpower and manufacturing culture. The Iveco and Mercedes engine powered vehicles can withstand improvised explosive devices and small arms firepower.
They can ove at a maximum speed of 105km per hour and carry 11 passengers. This has made it a favourite for military operations in remote zones. They were used during the war in Iraq.