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Sh11 billion 'half plane half chopper' spotted in Kenya [Photos]

The aircraft can operate like a helicopter & a plane depending on the situational need and costs about Sh11 billion

An MV-22 Osprey lands at Magogoni Airfield, Kenya on April 10, 2024. Photo by Senior Airman Kevin Nious

A number of Kenyans from the coast were lucky to have spotted a peculiar aircraft that has also captured the attention of aircraft and military enthusiasts on social media.

This sighting marked a rare appearance of the advanced tiltrotor aircraft far from its usual operational bases.

The MV-22 Osprey, developed by Boeing and Bell Helicopter, stands out in the world of aviation due to its unique hybrid design.

This aircraft combines the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter with the high-speed, long-range performance of a conventional plane.

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It's loosely termed as half helicopter & half plane.

Its rotors can tilt to transition between hovering like a helicopter for takeoffs and landings and flying horizontally like an aeroplane at speeds that outpace traditional helicopters.

This versatility makes it an invaluable asset in diverse military operations.

The V-22 is used for a wide-range of missions, including long-range infiltration, exfiltration, medium-range assault, special operations, VIP transport, resupply, disaster relief, search-and-rescue, medical evacuation, and humanitarian missions.

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Its recent sighting in Kenya opens up discussions on its deployment and potential roles within regional security architectures.

The news desk can confirm that photos of the MV-22 Osprey were taken at Magogoni Airfield, on April 10, 2024.

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According to the U.S. Department of Defence, the aircraft was in Kenya as part of the last deployment of the 3-58th Airfield Operations Battalion with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa before deactivation.

The 3-58th Airfield Operations Battalion is set to leave the East Africa region after more than 37 years and another group is expected to take over.

The unit, known for its pivotal role in ensuring safe air travel for military aviators, bid farewell after their deployment with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

Throughout their tenure, the 3-58th AOB has been stationed in various locations across the region, diligently managing airfield operations and providing crucial support for flight missions.

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Their responsibilities ranged from coordinating flight schedules to clearing runways of wildlife and debris to facilitate safe takeoffs and landings.

Lt. Col. Douglas Lindsay, the commanding officer of the 3-58th AOB, expressed pride in the unit's accomplishments during their assignment in Kenya.

He highlighted their contributions to enhancing airfield infrastructure and operational efficiency, essential for conducting training exercises and tactical operations in the region.

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Sgt. Wade Zamora, responsible for maintaining airfield equipment, emphasized the satisfaction derived from contributing to the unit's mission and ensuring the smooth flow of air traffic, irrespective of weather conditions.

As the 3-58th AOB prepares to depart, their focus remains on leaving a lasting impact.

Plans are underway for a renovation project aimed at expanding runway space and improving operational capacity, ensuring a smoother transition for incoming units.

While the dissolution of the 3-58th AOB marks the end of an era, most of its members will be reassigned to other airfield operations battalions, carrying with them valuable experience gained in Kenya.

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Lt. Col. Lindsay expressed confidence in the capabilities of his team, believing that their expertise will continue to serve them well in their future endeavours.

The departure of the 3-58th AOB signifies the end of a longstanding partnership between the United States military and Kenya in ensuring airfield safety and operational readiness.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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