Kenya buys military choppers from US to boost security

The Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe receives a model of the MD530F helicopters from the representative of the United States government Major General Michael Turello during the commissioning ceremony at Embakasi. [Courtesy]

Kenya has purchased six MD 530F helicopters from the US to boost regional security and heighten fight against terrorism.

The Chief Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe on Thursday presided over the commissioning of the six choppers at the of six MD 530F helicopters at Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) in Embakasi, Nairobi.

During the event, he lauded US-Kenya relations which he said has yielded fruits in transforming the security department.

“Among other capabilities, the integration of the MD 530F into our inventory will go a long way in enhancing our capacity to operate in the contemporary security environment, and we appreciate that this achievement is underpinned by cooperation with our allies,” he said.

General Mwathethe received the helicopters from US Government representative, Commanding Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Major General Michael Turello.

The choppers have contemporary airborne and armament systems and the purchase forms part of the upgrading exercise by the Ministry of Defence.

The six helicopters are part of a larger consignment that will be delivered later this year.

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According to Commander Kenya Army, Lieutenant General Walter Koipaton, the arrival of the helicopters is timely since the country engaged in war against terrorism in Somalia.

"The helicopters have come at a time when we most need them in our operations both within our borders and beyond,” he said.

 Kenya is currently involved in operations against terrorist organisations, notably the Al Shabaab in Somalia, as part of Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and along the Kenya-Somalia border."

These are special series of choppers which are light, versatile and can be used in civilian and military duties.

While describing the utilities choppers, Airforce states: “It is designed to enhance scout attack, armed escort and close air attack capabilities of the air forces.”

“The multi-purpose armed helicopter can be deployed in tactical, reconnaissance and transport operations.”

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MD 530F helicoptersSamson MwathetheUS-Kenya relationsMiliatry choppers