KDF to get more attack choppers from US [Photos]

The chopper's weapon system can fire at a rate of around 1,100 rounds a minute.

MD 530F helicopters aqcuired by Kenyans

Kenya is expected to receive more attack and reconnaissance helicopters from the United States army.

Speaking to Janes, a US-based military news website, a spokesperson from the US Army said that a number of countries had declared interest in acquiring new aircraft, including Kenya.

We have interest from several countries to procure new MD 530s, including India, Kenya, and Lebanon,” the source said.

We have two MD 530s on the production line that were originally procured for Afghanistan, but which are currently under a Stop Work order. We are working towards resuming production for Kenya as part of their next aircraft procurement,” the spokesperson added.

The MD 530 light helicopters have a range of uses including airborne attacks, armed escort, search and rescue, fire fighting and scouting.

It is known for speed, safety, agility and the ability to operate with ease in confined spaces.

The helicopter, referred to as the ‘little bird’ in military circles, is armed with an advanced airborne weapon system that can fire at a rate of around 1,100 rounds a minute.

MD 530F helicopter is driven by Rolls-Royce which helps it reach speeds of 248km/h and a maximum range of 430km.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) had requested 12 of the helicopters valued at $253 million (28,768,630,000) in May 2017 and on 27 September 2018, MD Helicopters was awarded a contract to deliver six MD530Fs to Kenya

The Kenyan contract included initial logistics support (ILS) for the aircraft, aircraft systems and ground support equipment.

In 2020, KDF received 6 of the armed choppers which were received by retired Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe.

Among other capabilities, the integration of the MD 530F into our inventory will go a long way in enhancing our capacity to operate in the contemporary security environment, and we appreciate that this achievement is underpinned by cooperation with our allies,” he said at the time.

KDF had been using the ageing MD500 fleet for reconnaissance missions.

Other aircraft that Kenya’s military owns include F5E/F Tiger II fighter jets, Tucano trainers, Y-12 transport aircraft, and G120A basic trainers.

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