Kenyan Air Force receives two C-27J Spartan tactical airlift aircraft

Italian-based Leonardo has delivered two C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircraft to the Kenyan Air Force, out of the three aircraft initially ordered.

Both aircraft with serial number 224 and 222 touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport from Italy on 30 January. President Uhuru Kenyatte was present during the arrival.

Kenya decided to purchase the C-27J aircrafts after a report submitted to the parliamentary public accounts committee by the Kenyan Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich on June 2018.

The aircraft are expected to undergo acceptance trials before entering service with the Kenya Air Force.

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 aircraft.

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.

The C-27J Spartan can perform a wide range of duties which includes maritime patrol, tactical operations, medical evacuation, ground refuelling, fire-fighting and aerial spraying.

The three C-27J Spartan will 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.

Patrick Kenyette

Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor