The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: KDF to Upgrade Arsenal On Navy Ship

The Kenya Defence Force wants to upgrade its arsenal and install the latest technology in the recently acquired navy ship MV Jasiri. Military spokesman Col. Cyrus Oguna yesterday said KDF will arm the ship to the highest level possible.

"We must always upgrade. You cant use yesterday's weapons to fight today's wars. We are constantly upgrading," said Oguna.

The ship which arrived last year in time just when KDF was fighting terrorist group al Shabaab in Somalia not armed. But it still took part in the operation in the Kismayu port town.

"It is armed but not to the level we want it," said Oguna. "We want to arm it with the latest radar and navigation systems."The spokesman said the military will have to go through the government procurement procedures.

Senior military officers, led by the Chief of Defence Force General Julius Karangi welcomed MV Jasiri at the port of Mombasa last August.

The 150 metre long grey vessel arrived without guns, but sources then said the equipment would be installed before it took part in the Kismayu operation.

The 60 officers on board have been undergoing a nine-month training and vessel orientation course with the ship's manufacturers, Astilleros Gondan from Spain.

The ship which was procured in 2003 has been dogged in the Anglo Leasing scandal for the last seven years.It was to have been delivered to the Kenya Navy in 2005.

Col Oguna refused to comment on whether KDF had acquired attack helicopters.Reports indicate KDF has received several Mi-28N helicopters after the Chinese made ZW9E were introduced into the Kenya Airforce last year.

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