The Kenya Air Force has taken delivery of three new AW139 helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters after a 2018 order.
The aircraft (KAF-1802, KAF-1804, KAF-1806) were seen transporting President Uhuru Kenyatta in the city of Kisumu in early January this year.
Photos had emerged of two AW139s in Kenya Air Force markings undergoing test flights from Varese-Venegono Airport, Italy, in March and early April 2019.
The Kenyan acquisition was revealed in June 2018 in a parliamentary report that stated an undisclosed number of AW139s were acquired through a Sh6 billion ($59 million) loan advanced to Kenya’s Treasury by Italy’s UniCredit SpA.
Kenya also obtained a Sh20 billion ($196 million) loan from the same bank for three C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, also manufactured by Leonardo. The acquisitions were made between November 2017 and February 2018. The first two Spartans were commissioned into service in February 2020 and the third delivered in October last year.
The Kenyan police (now part of the National Air Support Department) operates AW139s, having received two in June 2018 and one in April 2016 – the latter was subsequently lost in a crash in September 2016.