Foreign Military Sales:

Kenyan Request for Armed Aircraft

GAO-17-713R: Published: Sep 5, 2017. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 2017.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

William T. Woods
(202) 512-4841
WoodsW@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The Departments of State and Defense administer the Foreign Military Sales program, which sells military equipment and services to foreign partners and allies.

In December 2015, the Kenyan government requested to buy 6 or more AT-802L aircraft to support its anti-terrorism efforts. In March 2017, DOD presented an offer for Kenya to purchase up to 12 of these aircraft. Kenyan government officials wanted to wait until after national elections in August to decide, and as of August 30, 2017, Kenya had not agreed to the sale.

We found the events related to this transaction to be consistent with the standard Foreign Military Sales process.

Certified AT-802L Aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Activities Only and Rendering of Proposed Armed AT-802L Aircraft for Kenya

Two aircraft: basic AT-802L (left) and proposed AT-802L requested by Kenya (right)

Two aircraft: basic AT-802L (left) and proposed AT-802L requested by Kenya (right)

Additional Materials:

Contact:

William T. Woods
(202) 512-4841
WoodsW@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

What GAO Found

As of August 30, 2017, the Kenyan government had not formally agreed to the U.S. Air Force's offer for Kenya to purchase up to 12 AT-802L aircraft, which Kenya requested to buy from the U.S. government through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Specifically, in December 2015, the government of Kenya submitted the first of a series of requests to purchase 6 AT-802L aircraft in order to support the country's anti-terrorism efforts. The requests included an option for additional purchases, so the U.S. Air Force developed an approach that allows for the purchase of up to 12 of these aircraft. In January 2017, the Department of Defense (DOD) notified Congress of the proposed sale and, after Congressional review, the Air Force presented the offer to the Kenyan government in March 2017. The offer was set to expire in June 2017 but, according to DOD and Department of State officials, Kenyan government officials did not want to agree to the offer until after their national elections, which took place in August 2017. For this reason, the Air Force authorized an extension, giving the Kenyan government until September 16, 2017, to make a determination. See the figure below for a timeline of events related to this FMS transaction, which we found to be consistent with the standard FMS process.

Why GAO Did This Study

Through the FMS program, which managed over $30 billion in sales in fiscal year 2016, the U.S. government may sell military equipment and services to foreign countries through government-to-government agreements at no cost to the U.S. government.

GAO was asked to review Kenya's request to purchase armed aircraft known as the AT-802L and the U.S. government's subsequent offer. This report examines the facts and circumstances surrounding the proposed sale of up to 12 AT-802L aircraft to the government of Kenya through the FMS program.

To perform this work, GAO reviewed key acquisition documentation such as the Letters of Request from the Kenyan government, the subsequent Letter of Offer and Acceptance from the U.S. government, and other DOD documentation relevant to the FMS process. For insights into the request and the FMS process, GAO interviewed relevant officials from the Air Force, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, a security cooperation organization in Kenya, and the Department of State. GAO also reviewed relevant laws and policies, such as DOD's Security Assistance Management Manual, which guides day-to-day management of the FMS program.

GAO is not making any recommendations in this report.

For more information, contact William T. Woods at (202) 512-4841 or WoodsW@gao.gov

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