Bell begins Kiowa Warrior cabin conversion

Bell begins Kiowa Warrior cabin conversion

19-Jul-2010 Source: Bell

Work is underway at Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, on an Army contract for the conversion of an OH-58A cabin into a D-model cabin.

In April 2009, the Army exercised a contract option to have Bell Helicopter convert one OH-58A cabin into a new OH-58D cabin and also complete the non-recurring engineering effort required to establish a cabin build line. The creation of a cabin build line would enable the Army to acquire new OH-58D cabins from Bell to replace Kiowa Warrior aircraft whose cabins have been damaged beyond repair.

The first cabin conversion is scheduled for delivery to Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) next year. In May 2010, the Army issued a sole-source solicitation to Bell Helicopter for the conversion of additional OH-58 cabins. Up to 66 cabins could be required to support the Army’s objective to replace combat losses and damaged aircraft.

Bell is also supporting CCAD with crash damage repairs on OH-58D aircraft. One Kiowa Warrior cabin has already been repaired and delivered to the Army. Two additional cabins are undergoing repairs. As work on each cabin is completed, it is shipped to an AMCOM Aviation Field Maintenance Directorate site for installation of dynamic components.

Work also continues on the final lot of aircraft in the OH-58D Safety Enhancement Program (SEP). In March 2010, the Army awarded Bell a contract to modify the final 30 OH-58D aircraft scheduled to enter the Kiowa Warrior SEP program. The final aircraft are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011. When Lot 13 is complete, a total of 371 Kiowa Warriors will have been modified to the SEP configuration.

To date, the U.S. Army’s fleet of Kiowa helicopters has accumulated more than 600,000 combat flight hours and approximately 2 million total flight hours. Despite unusually high usage rates and daily combat missions in a harsh operating environment, the OH-58D continues to maintain the highest OPTEMPO and highest readiness rate of any Army aircraft operating today.

About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell’s global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Textron, Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.

Forward-looking Information: This release contains forward-looking statements regarding U.S. Government programs awarded to Bell Helicopter. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the statements, including the following: (a) Textron’s ability to perform as anticipated and to control costs under contracts with the U.S. Government; (b) the U.S. Government’s ability to unilaterally modify or terminate its contracts with Textron for the Government’s convenience or for Textron’s failure to perform, to change applicable procurement and accounting policies, and, under certain circumstances, to suspend or debar Textron as a contractor eligible to receive future contract awards; (c) changing priorities or reductions in the U.S. Government defense budget, including those related to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Overseas Contingency Operations; and (d) changes in national or international funding priorities, U.S. and foreign military budget constraints and determinations and government policies on the export and import of military and commercial products.

http://www.bellhelicopter.com

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