Leonardo delivered the first two C-27J military transport aircraft at a ceremony in Nairobi on Thursday.
The handover ceremony was presided over by the Kenyan President, Leonardo posted on its Twitter account. The two aircraft are equipped with a new avionics suite, Leonardo tweeted.
The first Kenyan C-27J was spotted at Leonardo’s facility in Turin, Italy, in September 2018 and a second joined it six month later. Kenya ordered a three aircraft in late 2017. The acquisition is being financed through a loan taken from Italy’s Unicredit SpA worth 198 million for the three aircraft.
Kenya’s C-27Js will be equipped with winglets and a new avionics suite meeting civil and military requirements.
Kenya is the fourth African nation to order the C-27J after Morocco, Chad and Zambia. Other customers include the Air Forces of Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Romania, United States, Mexico, Australia, Peru and Slovakia.
The C-27J ‘Spartan’ was developed using engines and systems of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules. It first flew on 24 September 1999.
The Spartan aircraft can carry up to 60 troops and upto of 46 paratroopers. In the medical role 36 stretchers and six attendants can be carried. Maximum payload is estimated at 10 tons.