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Image: OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopter

OH-58 Kiowa Warrior

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A light armed scout helicopter. The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is one of a number of scout or light observation helicopters (LOH) to be provided enhanced mission capabilities by addition of armament and sophisticated electronic subsystems. The Bell (model 406) OH-58D Kiowa Warrior performs reconnaissance, security, command and control, target acquisition/designation, and defensive air combat missions. The OH-58D's highly accurate navigation system permits precise target location that can be handed-off to other engagement systems. The OH-58D has an infrared thermal imaging capability and can display night vision goggle flight reference symbology. It's laser designator/laser rangefinder can provide autonomous designation for laser-guided precision weapons. Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS) missiles provide the Kiowa Warrior with protection against threat aircraft. The OH-58D is powered by a Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C30R/1 650 shp engine.

Improved Production Aircraft. Beginning in March 1997, a number of improvements were introduced into new production OH-58Ds resulting from Task Force XXI exercises that took place at Fort Irwin, CA in March 1997, to demonstrate the Army's concept of the "digital battlefield". These improvements include an improved Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C30R/3 650 shp engine equipped with an upgraded hot section to eliminate power drops and improve high-altitude/high-temperature performance. The C30R/3 will be fitted with a full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system that will replace the hydromechanical fuel control unit. The improved production Kiowa Warrior will have a completely digital avionic suite consisting of an integrated cockpit control and display system with a digital moving map display, improved master control processor with digital map and video crosslink, along with an improved data modem, secure radio communications, and a GPS embedded in the inertial navigation system. Additional improvements include an infrared jammer, infrared suppressor, radar warning receivers, and a laser warning detector to improve aircraft survivability.

Improved Mast Mounted Sight System Processor (IMSP). The product improved aircraft will include a new high-speed digital signal processor that will provide improved tracking capabilities by split-screen in both TV and Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS) modes, low contrast target tracking, simultaneous multi-target tracking of up to six targets, moving target indicator, aided target recognition, and automatic re-aquiring of targets lost due to obstruction. The operator video display will reflect real time TV zoom and still frame capabilities. The IMSP will replace the current configuration MMS System Processor (MSP).

System/Safety Enhancement Program (SEP). In 1998 Bell Helicopter Textron began retrofit of an initial 28 OH-58D Kiowa Warriors with system/safety upgrades. The first upgraded aircraft was delivered December 22, 1998. These improvements are identical to the improved production aircraft, including the improved Rolls-Royce Allison C30R/3 engine, but also add new energy attenuating cockpit seats. The Army plans to modify all 310 OH-58D helicopters in the fleet with this retrofit kit, at a rate of up to 48 helicopters per year, from 2000-2006.

Information courtesy of the U.S. Army

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Updated: 18 January 2013
Born on 18 January2006