The Kenya Air Force has taken delivery of the first six of eight Bell Huey II helicopters from the US Government.
The delivery of the helicopters is in line with the US single security cooperation initiative to strengthen Kenya’s military capabilities and increase security cooperation with the Sub-Saharan African country.
Designed to operate in hot and high-elevation environments, the helicopters will strengthen the Kenya Defence Forces' (KDF) air assault capability to deploy Kenyan Rangers and other quick reaction forces.
These helicopters will be used to deliver much-needed supplies to the front-line and to help save the lives of troops with vital medical evacuations, according to the US Embassy in Kenya.
Kenya will also use the helicopters in its fight against terrorism.
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec said that the US values the initiative Kenya has taken to 'strengthen its capabilities in order to help build a more peaceful and secure Kenya and East Africa region.'
"The KDF has made great sacrifices on front lines along the Kenya-Somalia border and as an integral part of AMISOM, as well as in other crucial regional peacekeeping operations.
"We are proud to be your committed partners in these efforts."
The Bell Huey II helicopter's safety features include transmission with chip detection and debris collection, autorotation, rollover bulkheads, rupture-resistant fuel cells, wire-strike protection and jettisonable crew doors.