OH-58A-D helicopters as Excess Defense Article (EDA)...

Discussion in 'Military Aviation' started by Zebra, Jun 18, 2015.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2011
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    Paris Air Show 2015: Bell cautions surplus OH-58s may undermine new military helo sales

    Gareth Jennings, Paris - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
    17 June 2015

    Bell Helicopter is pressing the US government to limit the number of surplus army OH-58A-D Kiowa and Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters it offers for sale to foreign operators in case these undermine the company's efforts to sell its latest platforms, the CEO said at the Paris Air Show on 17 June.

    The company is in discussions with the government specifically to cap the number of Excess Defense Article (EDA) OH-58 helicopters that might be offered to nations at no cost, other than the expense of refurbishment and shipping, John Garrison told reporters at Le Bourget.

    The US Army has just begun the process of divesting itself of more than 630 OH-58A-D helicopters as it transfers its scout role over to unmanned aerial vehicles. At the beginning of 2015 the US Army issued an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Excess Materiel Survey Message, for potential operators to log their interest in receiving surplus helicopters under the EDA programme. Croatia immediately registered its wish for 16 OH-58D helicopters.

    While Garrison is concerned a glut of cheap and readily available helicopters onto the market might be bad news for his own efforts to sell new platforms, he was somewhat philosophical on the issue, conceding that some countries can only afford such surplus platforms, so would not be buying new from Bell even if no other option were available to them.

    Garrison did say that Bell would support the US government in finding potential Foreign Military Sales (FMS) for the OH-58D (all the older OH-58As would likely be offloaded via the EDA route, rather than FMS). He noted though that the helicopters would only be refurbished, not upgraded with any technology developed for the now-cancelled OH-58F successor project for the US Army.

    Garrison also noted that, as happened with such EDA sales previously, these EDA and FMS countries may one day decide to trade in their second-hand helicopters for new ones, and are likely to go for the latest version of the type they already have. In the case of the OH-58, this would be the armed Bell 407 (as fielded by Iraq) or the more advanced 407GT.

    First unveiled in 2013, the 407GT is essentially a slightly reconfigured version of the ARH-70 Arapaho that Bell offered to the US Army for its cancelled Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), fitted with the Garmin G1000HTM 'glass' cockpit and equipped with electro-optic/infrared sensors as well as light weapons and precision-guided munitions. Bell made its first sale of the 407GT to a private contractor company in May.

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