Upgraded OH-58D Kiowa Warrior delivered
The US Army has delivered the first OH-58D Kiowa Warrior upgraded under the Wartime Replacement Aircraft (WRA) programme at a ceremony at Corpus Christi Army Depot on 7 June, 2012.
The WRA programme is the army’s initiative to replace OH-58D Kiowa Warriors, the primary air cavalry helicopter. The army is seeking ways to sustain the fleet in order to support ongoing fleet upgrades that address obsolescence, improve reliability, increase capability and put OH-58Ds back in the fight.
The army is approved for a complete fleet of 368 of OH-58D Kiowa Warriors. Since production of the KW ended in 1999, increasing the number of 58Ds to the soldier is crucial at a time when cost-effective measures are critical. The army recognizes the cost-saving opportunities from investing in its depots and their partnerships.
The WRA programme is a joint effort with CCAD, the Armed Scout Helicopter (ASH) Project Office, the Aviation Field Maintenance Directorate (AFMD), and Bell Helicopter. This aircraft, completed 7 weeks ahead of schedule, represents the first KW to be produced as part of that joint venture and is the first one to increase army fleet density in over a decade. The army will rely on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior as the primary air cavalry helicopter at least until 2025.
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