22-Sep-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
America’s OH-58D Kiowa Scout helicopters of the 82nd Airborne Division are in for their final deployment to South Korea. When they arrive home, they will be replaced with AH-64 Apaches which are better suited for complex battlegrounds. The Kiowas will be available to the National Guard, be put on the market for foreign sales and some will be put into storage. They initially went into service in 1960 and are renowned for their services in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
As reported by Military.com, the Apaches are needed as they have more firepower, speed and durability. They are able to use Unmanned Aircraft Systems; giving commanders a better data source as they can scout out enemy positions and are able to relay this information to ground troops.
Although the Apaches take longer to be deployed into the field, the advantages outrank this. The changeover is part of the Army’s 5 year Aviation Restructuring Initiative, the goal being to introduce new technology and retire “legacy systems.”