In the 80s the Brits delivered 76 Vickers 3 to the 2 armour battalions,the 78th and 81st. For its day and the threat environment it was a good tank. Its 105 mm could handle any T-55/59/62/64 or even 72. The Nigerians also bought a similar amount.
In fact an upgraded version was developed some say specifically for the Kenya Army. There could be truth since,a version of the KAF ground support jet,the BAE Hawk 52 was a specific Kenyan iteration. Anyway only one Vickers 7 was produced. It had frontal Chobham armour and the turret design was seen on the Challenger. The gun was larger than the previous Vickers 3 being a 120 mm.
It came out at the late 80s and by the time the army was ready to upgrade in the early 90s,the country was under a low level arms embargo due to human rights violations and money was also an issue. Kenyans will remember the so-called tribal clashes of the early 90s that ushered in multipartyism. Hundreds of thousands were displaced from the fertile Rift Valley bread basket as then President Moi's Kalenjin attacked 'immigrants'.
Anyway,the original KDF Vickers 3 underwent a midlife upgrade 3 years ago. The Brits installed laser range finders and upgraded the thermal imaging equipment. However unknown to most people the armed forces are amidst an unprecedented rearmament. The aircav has received Z-9s,MI-28s and even the latest Russian double rotor gunship the KA -50 was tested out recently as a purchase probe that didn't go further.
A Chinese made Z-9
Uncle Ivan's answer to the Apache,the MI-28
The double rotor,KA 50
The navy finally received its Spanish OPV 2 years ago while a larger Indian Saryu class OPV currently under construction at a Goa shipyard is expected before the year end.
These are unmistakable indicators that the KDF is seeking an expanded regional role. A nation without the means to project power is forever doomed to insignificance:which brings us to Kenya pulling the wider east Africa along with the Middle Region out of the Western grip via the crucial LAPSSET.
In other words,Somalia as far as Bossasso on the Red Sea to N.Mozambique to S.Ethiopia,S Sudan as far as the northern border til the CAR and all parts in between are inextricable linked to our national trajectory and therefore fall under the KDF defence orbit.
Which means that while air assets may be sufficient for this task an armour element is still required-something heavier, more effective than the Ukrainian T-72s of the unforgettable MV Faina story of 2010 which were meant as a short term stopgap. Britain as a potential supplier of Vickers 7 is out-the decision was made the beginning of the Kibaki era no more arms purchases would be made from that direction.
The price and political noise of other otherwise excellent examples like German Leopard 2s or French le Clercs discounted European armour. Enter the Merkava 4. 2 were field tested at the N Kenyan army grounds. The brass were seriously pleased. It does all an MBT of its class is expected and more.
It has an internal 60 mm mortar and can carry a half section of infantrymen in its spacious rear.
Also it contains a revolutionary active defense system,trophy that shoots down incoming missiles and RPGs.
There's an actual combat shootdown of an incoming RPG at this link.
During the last Lebanon incursion in 2006, Kornet missiles penetrated a handful but no Merkava 4 was destroyed unlike the earlier Merkava 3 and 2 series.K
The Israelis are eager to find a foreign buyer for what's really a top of the line tank and seem to have found one in the KDF and mutually beneficial purchase agreements can be inked for this 6 mn $ beast. If only these fake Jews could reduce their murderous rampages against the Palestinians perhaps conscientious Kenyans wouldn't feel moral reservations at this imminent purchase.
In the real world though such feelings count for little,moral outrage carries its own weight.
Kenyans,Christian and Muslim would be loathe to see their hard earned tax shillings indirectly funding these favourite Israeli pasttimes.
Especially when one remembers all the false flags they've inflicted on us. The first was the Jewish owned Norfolk hotel bombing New Years eve 1980. By the usual Zionist standards casualties were small,roughly 10 killed and 3 times that number injured-maybe we should thank the Mossad? It turned out a mysterious Arab checked out the day before who later turned out to be affiliated with one of the myriad PLO splinter groups.
Everyone knows these Arab factions,splinters and the PLO itself are Israeli puppets. Then there was the Mombasa hotel bomb in 2002 that killed 12 underpaid ,sexually harassed and permanently humiliated Kenyan hotel dancers and the fake attempted Arkia charter jet shootdown.
We can't forget last year's slaughter at Frank Lowy's Westgate that killed almost 70 and damaged our economy to the tune of nearly 1.5 bn $,very serious money in these parts. At this rate we should probably get those Merks for free!!
Shlomo Swindlestein,what do you say?