U.S. Army Building New 'F' Model Kiowa Warrior

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Someoneforyou, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    Army Building New 'F' Model Kiowa Warrior

    U.S. Army Wants 368 New OH-58F Kiowa Warriors

    ARLINGTON, Va. --- The U.S. Army is beginning mission equipment upgrade modifications to its fleet of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior scout aircraft in an effort to build a new, high-tech "F" model helicopter designed with improved avionics, better sensors and stepped-up overall performance capability, service officials said.

    The first "F" model flight is slated for next year, said Lt. Col. Scott Rauer, product manager, Kiowa Warrior. Overall, the Army plans to acquire 368 "F" model OH-58s, an aircraft which comes to life through a series of technical upgrades and changes to the current "D" model Kiowa. .

    Today, 94 Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters have been busily performing a range of crucial missions in Iraq and Afghanistan to include light attack missions, general reconnaissance, IED detection and convoy escort missions, Rauer said.

    "It's the highest demand rotary-wing aircraft in Army aviation. It flies more than 90 hours a month -- about seven times the normal usage rate," he added.

    The "F" model Kiowa upgrade - which will ensure the aircraft's service life through 2025 - includes a host of technical upgrades being performed by an Army government design house at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and a handful of its industry partners to include Bell Helicopter, Honeywell and Rolls Royce.

    The thrust of the improvements center around a Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program, or CASUP, which improves the sensors and moves them to the nose of the aircraft, Rauer explained.

    The new sensor, called the AAS-53 Common Sensor Payload, includes cutting-edge sensing technologies such as an advanced infrared camera, a color Electro-Optical camera and an image intensifier similar to what is used by Night Vision goggles, Rauer said.

    The sensors are engineered to work together with laser designators and image trackers to pinpoint targets on the battlefield.

    "This is a major leap ahead in situational awareness for the crew. The Common Sensor Payload does bring fusion technology where it can merge imagery. With this sensor, you can fuse imagery together to get the best picture," Rauer said.

    Moving the sensor to the nose, which involves removing the mast-mounted sight, which currently stands on top of the "D" model Kiowa, requires the transmission mounting structures to be redesigned, Rauer explained. "You've got to be able to pass the rotor vibrations cleanly to the rest of the aircraft," he said.

    The "F" model Kiowa will be outfitted with next-generation cockpit technologies called Control and Display Subsystem, version 5, Rauer said. "This brings advanced processing power, more memory and throughput, full color graphics, and dual-independent advanced moving maps," Rauer explained.

    The improved cockpit avionics - made by Honeywell - include an increased capacity to store and process key digital information.

    The "F" model cockpit will include a Force Battle Command Brigade and Below, or FBCB2 display screen. Later versions of the "F" model aircraft will include a faster, more high-tech Blue Force Tracker 2 for improved battle situational awareness.

    The aircraft will also be built with a dual-channel full-authority digital engine-controller built by Rolls Royce, to ensure the engine operates at its required power level regardless of the environment and the various demands placed on the aircraft, Rauer said.

    The OH-58 is configured with what is called Level 2 Manned-Unmanned teaming, or L2MUM - which means that the pilots in the cockpit can view feeds from nearby unmanned aircraft systems in real time.

    In terms of protection, the Kiowa Warrior is configured with protective ballistic floor armor and the Common Missile Warning System, or CMWS, which can shoot off flares to divert incoming missiles, Rauer said.

    File Photo: Current ''D'' model OH-58's. The U.S. Army plans to buy 368 upgraded “F” model OH-58s light helicopters to replace the current “D” models. The first is to fly next year.

    Source: U.S. Army
  3. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

    Jan 26, 2011
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    Bell Helicopter's OH-58 Block II successfully proves 6k95 "High, Hot" performance
    UNITED STATES - 27 JUNE 2011

    FORT WORTH, TEXAS (June 27, 2011) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT) announced today its OH-58 Block II demonstrator successfully proved hover out of ground effect performance that exceeds the maximum gross aircraft weight of 5,500 lbs at 6k95 during test flights conducted in Colorado.

    “We completed several test flights at several different altitudes and temperatures, each to prove the OH-58 could perform at minimum altitude of 6,000 feet on a 95 degree day,” said Jeff Lowinger, executive vice president Engineering and Xworx for Bell Helicopter. “Each test was more impressive than the last. The OH -58 exceeded our most optimistic expectations.”

    The Block II demonstrator conducted its first flight at Bell Helicopter’s Xworx research and development facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 14, 2011. Bell Helicopter developed this aircraft with its own resources and at no cost to the government.

    Bell Helicopter is developing this OH-58 Block II fleet representative demonstrator to facilitate prototyping activities in anticipation of a U.S. Army future requirement of 6K/95 performance. The Block II OH-58 provides an attractive, cost efficient alternative for the U.S. Army and U.S. taxpayer, and will demonstrate Bell helicopter’s ability to meet or exceed all performance requirements for the Army’s Armed Aerial Scout.

    The Block II demonstrator takes an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and makes it a fast fielding, low risk and lowest cost solution to achieve 6,000ft and 95 degree performance hover out of ground effect at maximum gross weight. The “high-hot” performance can be attained with propulsion and drive train upgrades to the existing platform using a Honeywell HTS 900 engine. This upgrade program builds upon the F model Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP) improvements by adding a new engine, transmission and rotor system.

    “By continuing to upgrade the OH-58F into a Block II program, the Army will save money that they can invest in future technologies or future platforms,” said Mike Gleason, Block II project manager. “It will also give the Army and the tax payer a return for the money invested in the F model program.”

    “Along with the performance upgrades, the Block II will adopt fully integrated condition-based maintenance (CBM) technologies, said Stephen Eppinette, Army business development manager for Bell Helicopter. The Block II will have will have higher performance, increased safety, and greater operational readiness while reducing life-cycle costs.”

    With more than 750,000 fleet combat hours, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is a military certified, combat- proven aircraft that is safe, rugged, and reliable; maintaining the highest operational readiness rate of any Army helicopter operating in Afghanistan and Iraq while simultaneously having the highest operational tempo.

    Source: Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company

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