05 February 2014 by Guy Martin - defenceWeb
The Kenya Air Force recently acquired six Grob G120A basic trainers, becoming the first African air force to operate the type.
The Kenyan G120s were observed practicing for the Jamhuri Day flypast on December 12, 2013. According to Grob, six aircraft have been delivered. The aircraft were handed over to the Kenyan military in November in Germany and subsequently flown to the African country after four Kenyan pilots were trained in Mattsies, Germany.
The G120A is powered by a six-cylinder Lycoming piston engine providing 260 hp. The largely all-composite airframe has a service life of 15 000 hours and is certified for +6/-4 gs, allowing for aerobatic training. The modern glass cockpit features three Elbit 205 x 150 mm multi-function displays, a digital standby flight display and a digital engine display. Grob says the G120 has one of the lowest maintenance costs in the industry.
The G120 is also flown by the Canadian, German, French and Israeli air forces while the turboprop G120TP has been bought by the Argentine and Indonesian air forces.
The Kenya Air Force flies around ten Scottish Aviation Bulldogs, 12 Embraer Tucanos and eight BAE Systems Hawks in the training role. It is likely that the Bulldogs will be replaced by the new German aircraft. According to Kenyan sources, the Kenya Air Force has another six G120s on option.