US exploring possibility of providing Huey helicopters to Kenya


The United States is considering providing Kenya with five Bell UH-1H II helicopters and has issued a request for capability information for the requirement.

According to a notice posted on the US Federal Business Opportunities website on 16 March, the Program Management Office, Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft, is conducting “market research” “to identify parties having an interest in and the resources to support the procurement and delivery of five (5) baseline Bell UH-1H II (Huey II) Helicopters, aircraft spare parts, special tools, operator and maintainer training to a Foreign Military Sales customer for the Republic of Kenya.”

The notice makes it clear that at the moment there is no solicitation, and the request for capability information does not constitute a request for proposals. “Submission of any information in response to this market survey is purely voluntary; the government assumes no financial responsibility for any costs incurred.”

Responses are due by 28 March.

The Kenyan air force flies several dozen MD500 helicopters, mainly in the combat role, several SA 330 Pumas, half a dozen IAR 330 helicopters, eight Z-9s and several armed Mi-171E helicopters. The Z-9s were delivered from China in 2010 and are the armed versions.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Kenya has over the last five years acquired six Grob G-120 trainer aircraft, 15 refurbished F-5E Tiger II fighter jets, 18 B-52 Nora 155 mm self-propelled guns, ten BOV M11 armoured personnel carriers, 57 Puma M26 armoured personnel carriers and one Cessna 208 Caravan transport aircraft configured for surveillance.