Kenya Air Force

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Kenya Air Force
Jeshi la Anga la Kenya
Coar of Arms of the Kenya Air Force
Founded 1 June 1964
Country Republic of Kenya
Branch Air Force
Part of Kenya Defence Forces
Command Headquarters Nairobi
Motto Tuko Imara Angani
Engagements Operation Linda Nchi
(16 October 2011 – June 2012)
Commanders
Air Force commander Major General Joff Otieno
Insignia
Roundel Roundel of the Kenyan Air Force.svg
Flag Kenyan Air Force Flag.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack Northrop F-5
Fighter Northrop F-5
Helicopter Mil Mi-171, Aerospatiale SA-330 Puma, Hughes MD 500
Interceptor Northrop F-5
Patrol Harbin Y-12
Trainer Scottish Aviation Bulldog, Short Tucano, Grob G 120
Transport de Havilland Canada DHC-5, Bombardier Dash 8, Fokker 70, Harbin Y-12

The Kenya Air Force (KAF) is the national aerial warfare service branch of the Republic of Kenya.

The main airbase operating fighters is Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki, while Moi Air Base in Eastleigh, Nairobi is the HQ & operations Kenya Air Force. Other bases include FOB Mombasa (Moi inter. Airport), FOB Mandera, FOB Wajir & FOB Nyeri (mainly helicopters/small planes). The air force does not own helicopter gunships: all of Kenya's fleet of helicopter gunships are exclusively operated by the Army's 50th Air Cavalry Division.

History[edit]

KAF F-5's Diamond formation over Nairobi, 29 January 2012.

The Kenya Air Force was formed on 1 June 1964, soon after independence, with the assistance of the United Kingdom.

From 1979–1982 President Daniel arap Moi used Air Force F-5 fighter jets to escort his flights in and out of the country; later commentators have pointed out that there was no threat justifying the waste of fuel and the difficult and complex requirements of the escort mission.[1]

After a failed coup by a group of Air Force officers on 1 August 1982, the Air Force was disbanded. Air Force activity was reconstituted and placed under tighter army control as the 82 Air Force. The Air Force regained its independent status in 1994. Currently it is a professional force with F-5 upgrade and procurement underway (10 F-5E, 2 F-5F, and 3 F-5EM from Jordan[2]).

On 10 April 2006 a KAF Harbin Y-12 crashed near Marsabit with 17 on board, of whom 14 died. It was carrying several local and national politicians; Bonaya Godana, a former minister, was among the casualties. The pilot in command was Major David Njoroge.

Since 1978, it is the KAF's main air defence fighter. A total of 29 Delivered: 12 F-5E & 2 F-5F from USA+ 10 F-5E,3 F-5EM & 2 F-5F ex RJAF (the ex RJAF aircraft were upgraded to F-5EM standard before being delivered to the Kenya Air Force. There was controversy over the purchase of used F-5 jets from Jordan, which were shipped to Kenya and assembled locally.[3]

Aircraft inventory[edit]

Kenyan Northrop F-5 Tiger II being prepared for an exercise, 29 January 2012.
Tucano Mk.51 (ZH209) on display at Farnborough Airshow in September 1990 Before being Delivered to Kenya.
Two Harbin Y-12s conducting formation training.
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Dates Notes
Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma  France transport helicopter SA 330G 14 -
Mil Mi-17  Russia transport helicopter Mi 17-1E,Mi-8MTV, Mi-8 delivered in mid-2012 for VIP Role 2 First seen publicly on 22 August 2010. 3 delivered, 1 crashed [4]
Bombardier Dash 8  Canada transport DHC-8-103 3 Since 1990 [4]
de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo  Canada tactical transport DHC-5D only 3 are airworthy Since 1977. 15 Delivered [4]
Grob G 120  Germany basic trainer G 120A 3 3 of 6 delivered on 2 December, 2013. [citation needed]
Fokker 70  Netherlands VIP transport F70 1 - [4]
Harbin Y-12  People's Republic of China utility transport Y-12 11 Since 1997. One was converted for air patrol duty and was fitted with an MX-15 Special Camera [4]
Northrop F-5 Tiger II  United States fighter/trainer F-5E/EM/F-5F 17 F-5E, 4 F-5F [4]
Scottish Aviation Bulldog  United Kingdom trainer Bulldog 103/Bulldog 127 10 Since 1972 To be replaced by German Grob G 120A.
Short Tucano  United Kingdom trainer Tucano Mk 51 12 Since 1990. 13 Delivered. Some for counter insurgency operations

In addition to the Air Force, the police air wing operates 11 aircraft (including 3 Bell 206L Long Ranger, 3 Bell 212, 4 Mil Mi-17 Hip).

Former fleet[edit]

Aircraft armament[edit]

Air defence equipment[edit]

Anti-aircraft equipment:

Commanders[edit]

The following officers have been in command of the Kenya Air Force:[5]

  • 12 December 1964 Group Captain I S Stockwell CBE DFC RAF[6]
  • 22 February 1967 Group Captain F Rothwell DFC TD RAF
  • 9 August 1971 Group Captain David John Edwards CBE AFC RAF[7]
  • 17 April 1973 Colonel Dedan Gichuru[8]
  • 27 June 1980 Major General P M Kariuki
  • 1982 Major General Mohamoud Mohamed (as commander of the 82 Air Force)
  • 27 February 1986 Major General Dedan N Gichuru (as commander of the 82 Air Force)
  • 10 May 1989 Major General D K Wachira
  • 28 June 1994 Major General N L Leshan
  • 1 December 2000 Major General S K Muttai
  • 27 November 2003 Major General J W Karangi
  • 10 August 2005 Major General Harold M Tangai
  • 13 July 2011 Major General Joff Otieno

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]