OH-58D Kiowa Warrior
The Kiowa is a dual-role helicopter operated by the US Army. This versatile airframe acts as both a scout helicopter and full-blown attack helicopter. In most cases the Kiowa will be deployed in concert with other assets such as the AH64A/D Apache gunship. The Kiowa also co-ordinates with artillery batteries and attack aircraft.
The OH-58D Kiowa was originally an unarmed Scout helicopter. It was first armed in 1987 during the tanker crisis in the Persian Gulf in order to protect shipping against Iranian gunboats.The Kiowa has seen action in Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It's lack of heavy armor does make the Kiowa more vulnerable to small-arms fire than dedicated gunships and several Kiowas have been shot down during combat operations in Iraq.
OH-58D KIOWA FEATURES
The location of the jammer right behind the engine exhaust means that it is susceptible to failure unless cleaned regularly. The Kiowa also carries 2 kinds of radar detector and a laser detector that will give a warning when the helicopter is painted by an enemy radar system or laser beam.
The kiowa's exhaust system vents directly into the rotor downwash which diffuses the heat generated, thus reducing the Kiowa's visibility to heat-seeking missiles.
OH-58D Kiowa Specifications
XM296 .50 cal machine gun pod. The XM296 is a belt-fed, air-cooled weapon which fires at 500-750 rounds per minute.
In 2009 U.S. Army Kiowa Warriors started having M3P .50 caliber machine guns mounted instead of the XM296 pods previously used. The M3P is lighter, more reliable and fires at a faster rate than the M2 carried in the XM296 pod.
DOD photo by: Sgt. Stephanie van Geete
A US Army (USA) OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter, in flight during a reconnaissance patrol mission, near Balad Air Base (AB), Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. This Kiowa is armed with 1x7-tube HYDRA rocket pod and 1x XM296 .50 cal machine gun pod.
DOD photo by: SSGT AARON D. ALLMON II, USAF
OH-58D KIOWA resources :
OH-58D KIOWA PHOTOS :
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photo gallery : oh-58d kiowa
OH-58D KIOWA VIDEOS :
kiowas in iraq
OH-58D KIOWALINKS :
Bell Helicopters - info on the OH-58D