The US State Department has approved the requested purchase by Kenya of twelve Air Tractor AT- 802L and two AT-504 trainer aircraft under the US Foreign Military Sale program. The estimated cost is 418 million USD.
The proposed sale provides a needed capability in the ongoing efforts to counter Islamic terrorist organisation al-Shabaab, according to the State Departement. Also, the Air Tractor maximizes Kenya’s Close Air Support (CAS) ability because it is a short-field aircraft capable of using precision munitions and cost effective logistics and maintenance. The proposed sale supplements Kenya’s aging F-5 aircraft as it will be more able to be pre-positioned much closer to the conflict area than the F-5 fleet.
The prime contractor will be L-3 Communications in Waco, Texas.