The Kenyan government has invited bids for the provision of five helicopters for the Kenya Police on a lease basis as it battles increasing violence in the coastal areas around the city of Mombasa.
In a public tender notice issued last month, the Kenyan ministry of finance said the police need new helicopters, which will be used as troop carriers and utility transports.
“Expressions of interest should include full maintenance capacity including availability of spare parts and other required components as and when they are required,” read part of the tender notice.
The notice also requires interested parties to provide evidence of a successful conclusion of a lease of similar nature in the past five years and proof that they have an annual turnover of Sh400 million ($4.5 million). The new helicopters will be used to augment the Kenya Police’s only operational helicopter.
In May, the government unveiled a new national security plan which includes the acquisition of 10 new helicopters to improve the capacity of the police in fighting terrorism, at a cost of Sh18 billion ($200 million).
The plan also provides for the Sh1.1 billion ($12 million) overhaul of three Russian-made Mi-17 police helicopters which have been grounded for years due to lack spares parts. It also plans for the hire of two more helicopters for the police for a period of at least four years.
The order comes against the backdrop of the deteriorating security situation in the coastal areas of Mombasa which have been repeatedly attacked by Somali-based Al Shabaab insurgents and local allies believed to be members of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC).