Leonardo Helicopters has delivered three new AW-139 helicopters to the Kenyan Air Force, in fulfillment of a 2018 order.
The AW-139 helicopters (KAF-1802, KAF-1804, KAF-1806) were seen transporting President Uhuru Kenyatta in the city of Kisumu in early January this year.
A June 2018 report submitted to the parliamentary public accounts committee by the Kenyan Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich revealed that the Kenyan Air Force had ordered an undisclosed number of AW-139 helicopters and three C-27J Spatan tactical transport aircraft to boost its operational capabilities.
According to the report, the C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft were acquired for Sh20 billion (S$198 448 276) from Italian aircraft manufacturer Leonardo.
The business was financed by a Sh6 billion ($59 million) loan advanced to Kenya’s Treasury by Italy’s UniCredit SpA.
Concerning the AW139 utility helicopters, Rotich stated in the report that “This loan was advanced to help improve naval security surveillance along the Kenyan coast,” The loan will also cover the construction of second runway to handle larger aircraft at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The three C-27J Spartan has since been delivered. The first two Spartans were commissioned into service in February 2020 and the third delivered in October last year.
The AW-139 helicopters will complement several other types in service including Mil Mi-171, SA330 Puma, MD Helicopters MD 500, Bell UH-1, Eurocopter AS350.