A newly acquired Italian Spartan aircraft C-27J for Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) is set to undergo acceptance trials locally.
According to sources from the KDF, the aircraft will undergo the said trials by a special military unit before being registered, KAF 222.
The trial entails different teams of engineers, pilots, and other skilled personnel who do testing on newly acquired aircraft before being registered locally.
“They’ll do ‘acceptance trials’ get the aircraft through its paces and certify everything is working as it should then only after that, they accept it into service,” a top military official is quoted by the Star.
The aircraft was unveiled on Thursday, January 30, at the Embakasi Garrison, Nairobi in an event presided over by top military officials.
The aircraft is manufactured by Leonardo Company, based in Italy, Rome with its price ranging from Ksh2.7 billion to Ksh3.8 billion depending on the specifications needed.
Additionally, it is manufactured to be able to airdrop cargo and paratroop, with the ability to also evacuate sick and wounded personnel. It can reach a top speed of 602km/h.
According to the Star, the Government is also set to acquire another aircraft, 737, in the course of the year and is to be delivered at a later date.
“The C-27J can be quickly configured to carry out tactical transport including troops, cargo, paratroops, and cargo airdrop, Medevac/Casevac, VIP but also transport for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support and firefighting,” reads the specifications of the aircraft on Leonardo Company website.
This comes just days after the KDF commissioned attack helicopters in a bid to modernize operations.
On January 23, 2020, the KDF received six modernized attack helicopters, in a ceremony presided over by Chief of the Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe.
The attack helicopters were said to be fixed with contemporary airborne and armament systems and were commissioned at the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC), Embakasi.
Chief of the Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe presides over the commissioning of modern generation attack helicopters in Embakasi, Nairobi. The purchase of the helicopters fixed with contemporary airborne and armament systems is part of the KDF modernisation programme. pic.twitter.com/CJcr7OFNWT
— Kenya Defence Forces (@kdfinfo) January 23, 2020
Speaking during the ceremony, Mwathethe applauded the US Government for sustained bilateral relations that play the role in strengthening Kenyan security.
“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.
Ideally, through a statement, America’s Defence Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) noted that the arms deal would help modernize Kenya’s “rotorcraft fleet in order to improve border security, undertake operations against” Al-Shabaab.