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December 05, 2012

U.S. Army can't get enough of Kiowas

The U.S. Army announced just recently that it wants to buy armed scout helicopters instead of extending the life of its aging fleet of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters. Army and Petagon officials must still sign off on the idea, according to a story by Reuters Nov. 30.

That effort will be the Army's third attempt to start replacing the OH-58 helicopters built by Bell Hellicopter -- based in Fort Worth, according to Reuters

Bell is in the final stages of a 14-year program to upgrade the Kiowa with newer technology and a much improved cockpit safety features, including crash-worthy seats and cockpit air bags, the Star-Telegram reported last year.

Kiowas have been around for a long time.

The first time an Army helicopter pilot flew the OH-58 Kiowa in war was in 1969 during the height of Vietnam. It's been 40 years since the Army last received brand new OH-58 from Bell's Fort Worth factory.

The Army uses the Kiowas for reconnaissance, surveillance and close fire support. The aircraft are equipped with a machine gun and can carry rocket pods.

Yamil Berard

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Jim

Your information is not corrrect. The Safety Enhancement Program ran for 13-years with every aircraft delivering on or ahead of schedule and at or under cost. It completed last year. In addition, the U.S. Army has not made a decision regarding Armed Aerial Scout and deliberations will continue for the next several weeks before the recommendation is brought to USD (AT&L).

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