30-Jun-2011 Source: Bell
Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT) and the U.S. Army Armed Scout Helicopter program office announced today the delivery of the first OH-58 â€œA2Dâ€ wartime replacement cabin for OH-58 â€œKiowa Warriorâ€ platform to the Army. The cabin is being delivered 30 days ahead of the contract schedule.
“The Kiowa Warrior continues to be a combat multiplier in the Joint Operations Area,â€ said COL Robert Grigsby, Armyâ€™s Armed Scout Helicopter project manager. â€œThis cabin is the first of many that are needed to address years of hard use and attrition.”
The â€œA2Dâ€ conversion program is an Army initiative to replace war time losses suffered by the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. This conversion program takes an existing â€œAâ€ model OH-58 and upgrades them to â€œDâ€ model.Â The Cabin will now be shipped to Corpus Christi Army Depot to repopulate it with avionics and dynamic components so it can be returned to the fleet to support the warfighter.
â€œWe are very proud to be delivering the first of our â€˜A2Dâ€™ wartime replacement cabins to the Army a full month ahead of contract schedule,â€ said Amy Tedford, from Bell Helicopter program office. â€œThis conversion program is critical in getting the Kiowa Warrior back to its authorized acquisition objective, allowing the aircraft to continue its job as the scout attack work horse.â€
â€œThis cabin is the first one delivered for our â€˜A2Dâ€™ contract with the U.S. Army, which calls for an additional 18 cabin conversions,â€ said Jim Schultz, Director for Army Programs and Fielded Systems at Bell Helicopter. â€œThe remaining A2D conversions will take place at our Military Assembly Center in Amarillo, Texas where we have established a â€œhotâ€ production line.Â Bell Helicopter is also working our U.S. Army customerâ€™s potential requirement to replace wartime losses with â€œnew metalâ€ cabins, reducing overall fleet age.â€
With more than 750,000 fleet combat hours, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is a combat- proven aircraft that is safe, rugged and reliable, maintaining the highest operational tempo and readiness rate of any Army helicopter operating in Afghanistan and Iraq.