Kenya orders C-27J transport, AW139 helicopters
The Kenyan Air Force would soon receive about three C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft and an undisclosed number of AW139 utility helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters ordered by the government to boost its operational capabilities. This was revealed in a new report submitted last week to the parliamentary public accounts committee by the Kenyan Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich.
According to the report, the C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft were acquired for Sh20 billion (S$198 448 276) from an Italian aircraft manufacturer.
Concerning the AW139 utility helicopters, Rotich stated in the report that “This loan was advanced to help improve naval security surveillance along the Kenyan coast," The loan will also cover the construction of second runway to handle larger aircraft at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This is a welcome development because the Kenya Air Force really needs an aircraft to replace the four DHC-5 Buffalos currently in its inventory which were acquired more than 30 years ago.
The Kenyan Air Force also possess eleven new Chinese-made Harbin Y-12 transport planes and about three Canadian built Bombardier Dash 8.
C-27J Spartan Transport Aircraft
The C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft was Launched in 1997 and it incorporates the same propulsion system and advanced avionics as the C-130J Hercules Transporter.
According to the manufacturer Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (LMATTS), the C-27J can perform a host of duties which includes maritime patrol, tactical operations, medical evacuation, ground refuelling, fire-fighting and aerial spraying.
The C-27J Spartan can fly with a maximum speed of 602km/h. The maximum cruise and stall speed of the aircraft are 583km/h and 194km/h respectively. Its range is 1,852km while the ferry range and service ceiling are 5,926km and 9,144m respectively.
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