Skip to main content

OH-58D

The Bell OH-58 Kiowa is a family of single-engine, single-rotor, military helicopters used for observation, utility, and direct fire support. Bell Helicopter manufactured the OH-58 for the United States Army based on the 206A JetRanger helicopter. The OH-58 has been in continuous use by the U.S. Army since 1969.

The latest model, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, is primarily operated in an armed reconnaissance role in support of ground troops. The OH-58 has been exported to Austria, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia. It has also been produced under license in Australia.

 

Development

On 14 October 1960, the United States Navy asked 25 helicopter manufacturers on behalf of the Army for proposals for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH). Bell Helicopter entered the competition along with 12 other manufacturers, including Hiller Aircraft and Hughes Tool Co., Aircraft Division. Bell submitted the D-250 design, which would be designated as the YHO-4. On 19 May 1961, Bell and Hiller were announced as winners of the design competition.

 

General characteristics

Crew: 2 pilots

Length: 42 ft 2 in (12.85 m)

Main rotor diameter: 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)

Height: 12 ft 105⁄8 in (3.93 m)

Main rotor area: 14.83 ft2 (1.38 m2)

Empty weight: 3,829 lb (1,737 kg)

Gross weight: 5,500 lb (2,495 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce T703-AD-700A or 250-C30R/3 turboshaft, 650 hp (485 kW) each

 

Performance

Maximum speed: 149 mph (241 km/h)

Cruise speed: 127 mph (204 km/h)

Range: 345 miles (555 km)

Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,575 m)

 

Armament

AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles

Hydra 70 rockets

M296 or M3P .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine gun.

AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles (no longer used)