Bell’s Kiowa Warrior program celebrates milestone
Sept. 28, 2011, Fort Worth, Tx. - Bell Helicopter and the U.S. Army Armed Scout Helicopter program office have announced the completion of the final Safety Enhancement Program (SEP) OH-58D delivered to the Army as part of the Kiowa Warrior refresh program. The program experienced 13 years of on time deliveries.
By Carey Fredericks
"Delivering each of the 292 Kiowa Warriors on time and on budget is an enormous accomplishment,” said COL Robert Grigsby, Army’s Armed Scout Helicopter project manager. “This feat is a true reflection of the Army-Bell Helicopter partnership that we have in place. The Kiowa Warrior continues to be a combat multiplier in the Joint Operations Area and SEP was needed to provide safety enhancements and standardize fleet configuration."
SEP is part of the Army Scout refreshment program. Under this program deliveries began in January 1999 and finished the last aircraft in September 2011. There have been a total of 283 aircraft, with an additional nine trainers completed on the SEP line.
“We are very proud to be delivering the final Kiowa Warrior to the Army on contract schedule,” said Amy Tedford, from the Bell Helicopter program office. “This program is critical in getting the Kiowa Warrior back to its authorized acquisition objective, allowing the aircraft to continue its job as the armed scout workhorse.”
“The SEP program finished strong, having never missed a beat for our customer,” said Jim Schultz, Director for Army Programs and Fielded Systems at Bell Helicopter. “Our next task is working with the Army on identifying future Kiowa Warrior needs. Bell Helicopter is currently on contract to build A2D War Replacement Cabins and is ready to respond to a requirement to build “new metal” cabins that would further replace wartime losses and reduce overall fleet age.”
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.