Kenya opens small arms factory, aiming to meet security organization demand

The facility that cost $37.5 million is said to be able to produce 12,000 assault rifles a year, with 60% of the components being locally manufactured

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and other VIPs inspect rifles at the factory. Photo: State House Kenya

A new small arms factory was inaugurated in early April at the National Security Industries Ruiro, north of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, marking what is described as the beginning of the East African country's effort to become a significant manufacturer of weapons systems, the Janes website reported. In a speech during the opening, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said the factory was built for $37.5 million and can produce 12,000 assault rifles a year, with 60% of the components being locally manufactured.

The president was filmed inspecting a production line for upper and lower receivers for 5.56 mm AR-15-type assault rifles. He said that a new line will be opened at the Eldoret ammunition plant later this year to support the small arms factory. The Kenya Ordnance Factories Corporation in Eldoret says it already produces 5.56 mm ammunition. Kenyatta added that the plan is to diversify production to produce 9 mm pistols and 7.62 mm rifles to meet the demands of all Kenya’s security organizations within five years before looking at expanding into medium and heavy weapons production, according to the report. 

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