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Wednesday August 8, 2007

The Bell Helicopter OH-58 Kiowa Hits 300,000 Combat Hours

Fort Worth, TX, USA ( Bell Helicopter Press Release ) - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, commented recently on the achievements of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. The US Army fleet of Kiowa helicopters has accumulated in excess of 1.4 million flight hours and over 300,000 combat flight hours. Despite these high usage rates, the daily combat scenario and the harsh environmental conditions, the OH-58D continues to achieve readiness rates above 80 percent.

Army CW-4 Darren Monroe sums up how commanders in the field feel about the Kiowa when he stated, "The Kiowa Warrior is the preferred aircraft when the ground commanders call for air support."

LTC James Barker, Commander of 2-6 Cav added, "Ninety-nine percent of the convoys that roll out with Kiowa Warrior coverage are not attacked in any way, shape or form. The Kiowa is to OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) what the A-10 was to Desert Storm."

The Kiowa Warrior was first deployed to support combat operations back in 1998 when it was used to control Iranian gunboats in the Persian Gulf. From those operations it has moved from one mission to the next including Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), and many others. During all of these missions the Kiowa and its crews have compiled an enviable readiness record as the most reliable helicopter in the Army's inventory.

The Kiowa Warriors are being flown at up to ten times the normal number of planned hours because of the dedicated efforts of both the uniformed personnel and the Bell support team.

Bob Cook, Bell's executive director for fielded systems stated, "These high mission capable rates are a result of lots of factors and Bell is proud to build such a robust platform, but the real accolades need to go to the men and women in uniform who are out there on the front line working in unbelievably harsh conditions servicing these helicopters day in and day out. And our hat goes off to them."

Bell Helicopter 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.

Textron Inc. is an $11 billion multi-industry company operating in 32 countries with approximately 40,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, 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, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at

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