Bell Helicopter, October 26, 2010 - FORT WORTH, TEXAS - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company announced that the U.S. Army Aviation awarded a new designation for the highly successful OH-58 platform.
"We are pleased and proud that the United States Army has awarded the OH 58 "F" designation to our helicopter," said John L. Garrison, president and chief executive officer of Bell Helicopter. "We appreciate the long tradition of cooperation and innovation between the U.S. army and Bell Helicopter."
The F model Kiowa Warrior will provide leap-ahead technology and increased capability through the implementation of a Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP). The program manager for Kiowa Warrior launched the program in accordance with the Defense Department guidance to spend near-term Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter funds to sustain the existing Kiowa Warrior fleet.
"The F model Kiowa Warrior is a significant investment into the OH-58D fleet," said COL Robert Grigsby, Army's Armed Scout Helicopter program manager. "This will ensure the Kiowa Warrior continues to be a combat multiplier on the Joint and combined battlefield across the full spectrum of military operations."
The F Model Kiowa Warrior 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, the F model will fully integrate 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.
The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior has the highest OPTEMPO (approximately 90 hours per month per aircraft flight utilization rate), highest readiness rates (in excess of 85% Full Mission Capable) in the U.S. Army combat fleet of aircraft, and is the most requested close air support aircraft in theater today. The Kiowa Warrior has surpassed 630,000 total combat flight hours.
Bell is also investing in the development of an OH-58D Block II fleet representative Demonstrator to facilitate prototyping activities to benefit U.S. Army future requirements. This approach provides a cost efficient and affordable solution to the U.S. Army and delivers better value to the taxpayer.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company , Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems.