United States delivers 6 helicopters to KDF
The United States Embassy in Nairobi has announced the sale of six MD-530F helicopters to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) through the United States Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program.
The ceremony was attended by U.S. Army Major General Michael D. Turello, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, and U.S. Ambassador Kyle McCarter who hailed the purchase as an important moment in the U.S.-Kenya relationship.
“The six MD-530F helicopters are emblematic of the decades-long security partnership between Kenya and the United States. These helicopters are tangible examples of our joint commitment to the fight against terrorism, and Kenya’s willingness to invest in its own security,” said Ambassador McCarter.
“The United States is here to support the KDF’s ongoing modernization efforts and realize our mutual security objectives in the region.”
The U.S Embassy, in a press release, stated that the sale of the helicopters is representative of the U.S. “total package approach,” which includes not just the equipment but also a comprehensive spare parts and multi-year sustainment package to ensure the longevity of the aircraft.
“The United States defense industry produces the highest quality equipment in the world and these helicopters will support Kenya’s security needs for decades to come,” read the statement.
The MD-530F helicopters, according to a website belonging to its manufacturers, is equipped with the 650 shp Rolls-Royce 250-C30 engine and operates more effectively in hot and high environments.
The aircraft has an all-glass cockpit and ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system among the following other features:
- FN Herstal Weapons Management System
- DillonAero Mission Configurable Armament System (MCAS)
- DillonAero Fixed-Forward Sighting System
- 62mm ballistic armor protection
- FN Herstal .50 caliber HMP 400 Machine Gun Pods
- M260 7-shot rocket pods