OH-58F Kiowa Warrior
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
14 April 2011
Also Known As: OH-58 Block II
Origin: United States of America
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Description: The OH-58 Kiowa is a combat scout and reconnaissance helicopter derived from Bell 406 commercial aircraft and intended for use by the US Army aviation units. Following the Army Helicopter Improvement Program (AHIP), Bell and the US Army developed the OH-58D Kiowa unarmed helicopter which features. Around 500 existing OH-58A/C models were planned to be retrofitted into OH-58D configuration, but this figure was finally slashed with less than 200 OH-58s upgraded to -D configuration. In the 1990s Bell Helicopter also developed a commercial utility helicopter variant based upon the OH-58 airframe, the Bell 407 and Bell 427 aircraft.
The United States Army OH-58F Kiowa Warrior is a further development of the OH-58 platform carried out by Bell Helicopter. The funds are coming from the ARH-70 program, which the US Army cancelled in 2008, in an effort aimed at sustaining the existing Kiowa Warrior fleet. The OH-58F program includes the implementation of a Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP). The US Army awarded the F designation for the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopter in October 2010.
The new variant capitalizes on non-developmental items and systems fielded on other aviation platforms to rapidly install, modify or provide the following: advanced Nose Mounted Sensor, improved cockpit control hardware and software for enhanced situational awareness, three full color Multi-function Displays, dual-redundant digital engine controller for enhanced engine safety, digital inter-cockpit communications, digital Hellfire future upgrades, Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) upgrades, and a redesigned aircraft wiring harness. Additionally, it fully integrates the capabilities of Level 2 Manned Unmanned Teaming, Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), Health and Usage Monitoring (HUMS), and enhanced weapons functionality via 1760 digital interface.
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