The US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior fleet will be substantially upgraded in the wake of two unsuccessful attempts to replace it, and will be redesignated as the OH-58F.
At least 158 OH-58Ds will go through the Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP) which will see them fitted with a new nose mounted sensor, improved control hardware and software, three full colour multifunction displays, dual redundant digital engine controls, digital inter-cockpit communications, datalinks for real-time links to UAVs, Aircraft Survivability Equipment (ASE) upgrades, and a redesigned wiring harness. Other improvements will include a Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and a 1760 digital databus interface.
The OH-58D fleet has seen a high tempo of operations in recent years, being one of the most requested close air support platforms in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with each aircraft operating about 90 hours per month on average.
Previous attempts to replace the OH-58D have been unsuccessful, with both the RAH-66 Comanche and ARH-70A Arapaho (also an advanced development of the Bell 206) being cancelled due to huge development cost and schedule overruns.