Turkish ECA finances US$70 million Kenyan armored car deal

(Defense News, Virginia, 29 January 2021) Kenya’s military has ordered 118 four-wheel drive personnel carriers from Turkish armored vehicles manufacturer Katmerciler. Kenya Defence Forces spokesperson Col. Zipporah Kioko told local press that the Ministry of Defence is finalizing the deal for the mine-resistant, ambush-protected Hizir vehicles through Turkey’s Export Credit Agency. Kenya’s military will primarily deploy the Hizir vehicles for counterterror operations against the al-Shabab militant group in Somolia. Reports have emerged of growing disquiet among Kenyan military ranks over the planned acquisition from the Turkish firm amid safety concerns. The vehicles, said to have fallen short of User Specifications Requirements (USR) set by the Kenya Army, were approved in a single sourcing deal by the Defense Procurement Board. Two other firms, one from South African and another from North America, were locked out of the multi-billion shillings deal, despite having more internationally accepted military vehicles.