The Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) is looking to purchase new attack and reconnaissance helicopters from the United States, the US Army has revealed.
According to a US Army spokesman Kenya is among three countries that have shown interest in procuring new MD 530s. US Army spokesman told Janes that India, Kenya, and Lebanon have shown interest in procuring new MD 530s.
“We are working towards resuming production for Kenya as part of their next aircraft procurement,” the spokesperson told Janes.
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) is looking to increase the number of its defence arsenal after it commissioned six new MD 530F helicopters in January 2020.
“We have two MD 530s on the production line that were originally procured for Afghanistan, but which are currently under a Stop Work order. We are working towards resuming production for Kenya as part of their next aircraft procurement,” the spokesperson added.
Kenya Defence Force in May 2017, requested the purchase of 12 MD 530F helicopters from the United States, at a proposed cost of $253 million including weapons, ammunition and support.
The deal included the helicopters to be supplied by MD Helicopters, as well as x24 Heavy Machine Gun Pod (HMP) 400 systems, x24 M260 rocket launchers, 4,032 M151 rockets, 1,536 2.75-inch M274 smoke signature warhead rockets; and 400,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition.
The order was later reduced to six armed MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters in September 2018.
The new contract was awarded through the U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) to MD Helicopters, and was issued against a 5-year, $1.4 billion light scout attack helicopter IDIQ contract that covers the supply of up to 150 armed MD530Fs/MD530Gs to US and partner nation military forces.
The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) commissioned six new MD 530F helicopters in January 2020 after they were delivered in December 2019.
The induction ceremony was presided by Kenya Chief of the Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe on 23 January at the Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) in Embakasi, Nairobi.
The six MD 530F Cayuse Warrior scout and light-attack helicopters equipped the army’s 50th Air Cavalry Battalion, as part of a wider efforts for a renewed fight against al-Shabaab and also in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Kenya’s MD 530F helicopters are fitted with advanced feature and weapons Systems including; FN Herstal Weapons Management System; the DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS); the DillonAero fixed-forward sighting system; 62 mm ballistic armour protection; FN Herstal 12.7 mm HMP 400 machine gun pods; and M260 seven-shot pods for 70 mm rockets.