FORT WORTH, Texas, 23 April 2012. Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE:TXT), it won a contract for nonrecurring engineering and a "new metal" OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter cabin as part of the U.S. Army OH-58D Wartime Replacement Aircraft Cabin program.
"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," says Jim Schultz, Bell Helicopter program director for Army Programs and Fielded Systems.
The contract addresses airframe age and 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 addresses airframe age providing a completely new metal cabin.
Army officials conceived the Wartime Replacement Aircraft Cabin program to replace wartime losses suffered by the OH-58D, which has amassed more than 2 million fleet hours, 800,000 hours of which 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.