Videos and photos appeared online showing Kenyan Air Force personnel examining and offloading an American made AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter. The Cobra helicopter is painted in desert camouflage with Kenya Air Force clearly written on its fuselage.
According to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly the AH-1Fs was donated by Jordan.
The single helicopter is stripped down lacking its main rotor, stub wing and tail rotor which might indicate that it was disassembled prior for transport and just recently delivered. The purchase of this helicopter gunship is a good move by the Kenyan Military which has been trying hard to upgrade its military capabilities on account of the ongoing battle against the deadly sect Al Shabbab.
The Photo might have been taken in Kenya since only Kenyan officials in Kenyan Military outfit was seen around the sole Cobra.
US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Excess Defence Articles (EDA) records do not show a sale or transfer. It is possible the aircraft may have come from Jordan, which has assisted Kenya in the past and in mid-2015 received 16 AH-1s from Israel. Kenyan Air Force has previously taken delivery of six UH-1 Huey II transport helicopter with the remaining two to be delivered in May. The AH-1 Cobra is derived from the Huey helicopter.
Kenya is currently trying to acquire armed L-3 Air Tractor Light Ground attack aircraft. The sale has since been approved by the US Government although it has suffered a slight delay. Kenyan Military has also requested the purchase of about 12 MD 530F armed civilian helicopter from the United States Government, the sale would include 25 HMP 400 gun pods, 24 M260 Rocket launchers, ammunition and other support.
The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a two-blade, single-engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It was developed using the engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois a member of the Huey family.
Kenya is currently battling Al-shabbab terrorist so new attack helicopter is a welcome addition to the fight.