Bell Awarded New Army OH-58D Kiowa Contract
Bell Helicopter announced that as part of the OH-58D Wartime Replacement Aircraft Cabin program, it has received a contract for the nonrecurring engineering and a "new metal" OH-58D cabin.
This contract is the latest in a series that have continually added additional Kiowa Warrior helicopters to address attrition rates with the extensively utilized United States Army Kiowa Warrior fleet.
Jim Schultz, Bell Helicopter program director for Army Programs and Fielded Systems stated, "This new contract shows the continued importance of the Kiowa Warrior to the US Army. With its track record of operational readiness and reliability, it continues to be the most demanded support asset by our combat troops and we are proud to be able to provide zero-time airframe replacements for such a remarkable aircraft."
This contract addresses airframe age, attrition, and refreshes the engineering and manufacturing planning for the OH-58D air vehicle. Previously Bell Helicopter was taking older A-model cabins and remanufacturing them into D-model cabins; this contract now addresses airframe age providing a completely new metal cabin.
The Wartime Replacement Aircraft Cabin program was conceived by the Army to replace wartime losses suffered by the OH-58D as it has amassed over 2 million fleet hours of which 800,000 hours were in combat. While flying those combat missions, the OH-58D has maintained the highest operational tempo (OPTEMPO), readiness, and mission-capable rates of any Army aircraft in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Source: By Bell Helicopter News - FORT WORTH, TX - 02 April 2011
Photo: Bell Helicopter Receives New Army OH-58D Kiowa Contract (Photo by Marinehawk12)
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