Kenya Air Force has received all three ordered C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft.
The final aircraft resumed test flights in Italy in May and arrived in Kenya at the beginning of October, where it was handed over in an official ceremony on 2 October. This was attended by Commander of the Kenyan Air Force, Major General Francis Ogolla, and the Italian Ambassador, Alberto Pieri, defenceWeb reported today, citing Italian Embassy in Kenya.
The plane was held back in Italy due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Leonardo delivered first two Spartans in January this year. 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.