The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is a single engine reconnaissance helicopter, developed by Bell. It represents a further development of its predecessor, the OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter. It is a result of the Army Helicopter Improvement Program or AHIP. The first OH-58D prototype made its maiden flight in 1983. Deliveries began in 1985, and the first deliveries to a Europe-based unit took place in 1987. Under Operation Prime Chance, 15 OH-58Ds were modified from 1987 for operations against Iranian fast patrol boats in the Persian Gulf. These helicopters were fitted with hardpoint for weapons. Provision was made for Stinger air-to-air missiles and Hellfire anti-tank guided missiles in addition to 12.7-mm machine-gun pods and rocket launchers. These helicopters were designated as OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.

Alongside scouting missions, the OH-58D helicopter also assumed other capabilities, such as field artillery support, by designating target coordinates. It can also support AH-1 Cobra or AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, performing recon missions. Also the Kiowa Warrior can independently support ground forces with its firepower.

The mast mounted sight system allows Kiowa Warrior to operate in day/night and adverse weather conditions with limited vision. The MMS has a long-range target acquisition at a range of about 10 km. It rotates 180 degree left and right and is gyro-stabilized. The MMS is controlled by the co-pilot, while the main pilot is fully occupied by flying the helicopter.

The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior has improved flying capabilities due to four-bladed main rotor, that is made from highly survivable composite materials and advanced avionics. It is highly mobile and maneuverable helicopter, that can be loaded and off-loaded from various transport means and be ready for the mission in minimal time as well.

The OH-58D is fast and maneuverable. The Kiowa Warrior can cover behind trees or hills when observing the battlefield. It can transfer data to friendly command posts using secured channel, or attack the targets itself.

This helicopter is highly survivable due to various countermeasure kits, such as jammer for infrared seekers, radar warning receivers, laser warning receiver, and inherent infrared suppression.

The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior was the first helicopter, fitted with protection system against wires. It is a sharp knife-like rod, mounted above the cockpit. It protects the helicopter, once it hits the wires. It is worth noting that various wires, such as electricity, telephone and other pose a great danger to helicopters that a re flying at low altitudes. After testing this system on Kiowa Warrior, manufacturers began to use this system on other helicopters as well.


Ghost Recon 2

In 2007 during the Korean conflict, Captain Thomas was a OH-58D Kiowa scout pilot. His helicopter was shot down by a SAM, and he crashed. Although his copilot did not survive, Thomas was captured. He was subsequently rescued by the Ghost team.

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