The United States delivered six MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters to the Kenya Army’s Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) at Embakasi Barracks during a symbolic handover ceremony, on Jan. 23.
The ceremony was attended by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael D. Turello, the Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA); Gen. Samson Mwathethe, Chief of Kenyan Defense Force (KFD); and other senior KFD officials.
The ceremony commenced with a flyover of three MD-530Fs, and a symbolic exchange of a miniature MD-530F helicopter from Maj. Gen. Turello to the Gen. Mwathethe.
“The tails of these U.S. manufactured helicopters and broad-range programs showcase how we are working together across the Kenyan Defense Forces,” said Turello. “This demonstrates how the U.S. remains fully committed to providing relevant and timely training and equipment to bolster the KDF capabilities.”
“This event is not only a culmination of the journey that began in 2016, but also a milestone for our Air Force to modernize the Kenyan Defense Forces,” said Gen. Samson Mwathethe, chief of KDF. “The integration of the MD-530F into our inventory will go a long way in enhancing our capability to operate and continue our security involvement; and we appreciate this achievement by cooperation with our allies.”
“The ceremony underscored the strong U.S.-Kenya partnership and ongoing efforts to combat terrorism in the region”, said a statement from CJTF-HOA.
The Kenyan government purchased the first batch of helicopters through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, which facilitates sales of U.S. arms, defense equipment, services and military training to foreign governments.
Powered by the Rolls-Royce 250-C30 650shp turbine engine, these aircraft will feature an advanced, all-digital glass cockpit, ballistically tolerant crashworthy fuel system, Harris RF-7850A tactical radio, Rockwell Collins HF-9000D, and the full complement of mission equipment that is standard to the Cayuse Warrior:
+ 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
The helicopters are capable of performing a variety of scout, attack, and close air support missions, which will enhance KDF operations. Included with the purchase of the helicopters is a multi-year sustainment package, which will ensure the longevity of the aircraft.
In 2018, MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced the receipt of the second delivery order for six armed MD-530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters for the Kenya Defence Forces. The second delivery of six helicopters is scheduled to happen in the near future.