|The new aircraft was showcased in the Marrakesh airshow in Morocco last April 2016.
Kenyan Air Force has decided to go for the new re-branded AT802L Longsword Counter Insurgency aircraft having scrapped the deal it had with IOMAX Air Tractor Archangel aircraft. The Longsword spots a new redesigned wing which has been strengthened to enable it carry a larger amount of ordnance and extend the fatigue life to about 20 years. The new aircraft was showcased in the Marrakesh airshow in Morocco last April 2016. Just recently Kenya Air Force secretly bought and tested the 2 Bell AH-1 attack helicopter while also making attempts to buy the MD 530 F scout helicopter.
Kenya Air Force will acquire the aircraft with the new wings says L3’s Vice President Pat Penland. He also said that his company is working round the clock to fulfill Kenya’s Order since the country ‘desperately’ needs it to combat Al Shabbab terrorists and the aircraft order will be fulfilled within months.
According to him, the LONGSWORD is more optimized to deal with pirates, smugglers and terrorists.”
According to Mr. Penland, he said that the Kenyan Air Force is would acquire 12 armed LONGSWORDs and two Air Tractor AT 504s, a smaller version of the AT802L with a side by side cockpit, which will be used for training. The first set could be delivered within 18 months.
The new features and armaments in the Longsword includes:
- A new enhanced glass cockpit
- Garmin G600 system
- Thales SCORPION Helmet Mounted Display
- Enhanced situational awareness
- Better field of view
- MX-15D HD EO/IR turret with laser designator.
- Dual screen Primary/Multifunction display
- L3 ForceX Widow mission management system
- A three-axis digital autopilot for better stability
- An air data computer and attitude/heading reference system
- Electronic Standby Instrument System.
- A digital intercommunication system
While newly added weapons includes
- HELLFIRE precision attack missile
- LAZU-19 rocket launchers
- 2.75in laser guided rockets,
- 500lb GBU-12 laser guided bombs
- Dillon 30 calibre gunpods