FORT WORTH, TX (April 12, 2013) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), provided a program update on the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior program at the 2013 Army Aviation Association of America’s (AAAA) Annual Professional Forum and Exposition, highlighting the program’s accomplishments in the last year.
“The men and women of Bell Helicopter are proud to say we build the rugged and durable OH-58 Kiowa Warrior Scout helicopter as it continues its remarkable combat service in support of our Warfighters,” said Mike Miller, director of Military Business Development at Bell Helicopter.
“With over 820,000 combat hours and counting, the OH-58 is pressed into combat duty every day and it continues to respond to this extraordinary service with the reliability the Army has come to expect from a Bell Helicopter product,” said Jim Schultz, OH-58 Program Director at Bell Helicopter.
In addition to the accumulation of these combat hours, all OH-58 units are reporting that they continue to achieve over 90% mission capable rates. This means that when a unit tasking comes down, over 90% of the helicopters are able to fly the mission.
“The Kiowa Warrior’s mission capable rate, coupled with the numbers of combat hours flown, is a truly remarkable achievement and represents the highest readiness rate and Operational Tempo (OPTEMPO) in the U.S. Army,” said MIller.
With a focus on the future, the next generation Kiowa Warrior, the OH-58F, is designed specifically for the Army’s next generation Scout mission. Under the Army’s Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade program (CASUP), OH-58F aircraft offer several upgrades, including enhanced sensors, new cockpit control hardware and software, and three color multi-function displays. Other near-term improvements include increased engine power, weight reduction initiatives and the latest condition-based maintenance technologies. These enhancements will provide greater capability, better performance, increased safety and even more operational readiness.
Bell Helicopter also has a continuous improvement program providing a roadmap for future growth to increase performance, reliability and safety. These current and future upgrade programs will enable to Kiowa Warrior to continue its remarkable record of service for decades to come.