Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) has acquired eight (8) light Combat helicopters from United Arab Emirates-UAE.
The single-engine helicopter is also operational with a number of armies including Singapore armed forces, the Royal Australian Army, the Brazilian Army and Air Force, the Danish Army, the French Army and the United Arab Emirates Army. The Fennec light combat elicopter first entered into service in 1990.
The helicopters are manufactured at Eurocopter’s Engineering and production Facilities at Marignane in France. They are also manufactured in Brazil and China under licensed agreements.
A Look at Fennec Combat Helicopter
- It can be fitted for anti-tank, air-to-air combat.
- Useful in ground support and training missions.
- Can be used for transportation purposes role.
- The combat version is called the AS550C3.
- The helicopter is manufactured based on a reinforced high-strength glass fibre and aramid airframe.
- Engine cowlings are armoured for protection.
- It has armoured seats.
- Has crew capacity of upto five.
- Cabin can be configured for medical evacuation.
- Cabin can accommodate a 3m³ load.
- Has a cargo sling, rated at 1,160kg, and a 204kg hoist.
- Fitted with sliding doors.
- Its cockpit is equipped with single controls and has night-vision capabilities.
- Its navigation suite has global positioning system (GPS), a VHF omnidirectional radio ranger and instrument landing system (VOR/ILS), an automatic direction finder (ADF), distance measuring equipment (DME) and a marker beacon transponder.
- Fennec AS550 can be fitted with two Forges de Zeebrugge rocket launchers which carry seven 2.75in rockets each.
- Fitted with Giat 20mm gun type M621, and the FN Hershal twin 7.62mm and 12.7mm machine gun pod.
- Fitted with optical cameras and Spectrolab SX 16 searchlights, surveillance capabilities.
- The maximum and cruise speeds of the helicopter are 287km/h and 258km/h respectively.
- The maximum altitude of the helicopter is 7,000m can endure upt0ofour hours and seven minutes.
- Has steel tube skid-type landing gear. Fitted with emergency flotation gear for operation over water.
Other countries which have received Fennec helicopter deliveries include, Pakistan Army that procured addition AS550 Fennec in sometimes in 2009, Ecuador MoD received first batch delivery in 2012, the remaining helicopters were delivered between 2013 and 2015.