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First A2D Kiowa Warrior delivered to US Army

2nd November 2011 - 09:46 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The first OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Wartime Replacement Aircraft has been delivered to the US Army under a partnership contract between Bell Helicopter, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) and the Armed Scout Helicopter Project Management Office. According to a statement released 1 November 2011, the aircraft was the first of a contracted 19 in the Army’s Wartime Replacement Aircraft programme.

According to the Bell release, the US Army’s fleet is ‘down to more than 40 aircraft from its authorized acquisition objective’, and the contract will see the fleet returned to 368 OH-58 aircraft. The programme takes an existing A model airframe and converts it to a D model aircraft.  Bell has an additional 18 conversion cabins on contract with the USG with a second option for 10 – 21 more cabins in work.

According to Bell, work on each aircraft begins at CCAD, where the aircraft is stripped down to a bare cabin.  Bell Helicopter converts the cabin from an A model cabin to a D model cabin complete with a full wire harness, flight controls, and fuel cells.  The modified cabin is returned to CCAD where the final work is completed on the aircraft.  Work on the first cabin was done at Bell Helicopter’s XworX facility in Ft. Worth, Texas.  The second cabin is on schedule for delivery ahead of contract, out of Bell Helicopter’s Military Aircraft Assembly and Delivery Center in Amarillo, TX during the second week in November.  The remainder of Bell Helicopter’s work on the program will be completed at the Amarillo facility. 

As part of the Wartime Replacement Aircraft contract, Bell Helicopter is working on a contract option to restart a new production line of cabins, according to the company.  These cabins would provide a hot production line of new metal cabins in lieu of conversion cabins.

The Shephard News Team


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