OH-58D(I) Improved Production Aircraft
All OH-58D Scout aircraft have been converted to the armed OH-58D(I) Kiowa Warrior configuration. Additionally, a multipurpose light helicopter (MPLH) kit exists consisting of a cargo hook, external troop seats, litter capability, and rapid deployment capability. Beginning in March 1997, a number of improvements were introduced into new production OH-58Ds resulting from Task Force XXI exercises that took place at Fort Irwin, CA in March 1997, to demonstrate the Army's concept of the "digital battlefield". These improvements include an improved Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C30R/3 650 shp engine equipped with an upgraded hot section to eliminate power drops and improve high-altitude/high-temperature performance. The C30R/3 will be fitted with a full authority digital electronic control (FADEC) system that will replace the hydromechanical fuel control unit.
The OH-58D(I) power train gives it the speed, lift and maneuverability needed to endure battlefield conditions. The Armed OH-58D's power train has been upgraded to ensure excellent hot-day performance with even the heaviest weapons package. Standard on the OH-58D are the 485 kw (650 skip) Allison turbine, proven on Bell's commercial model 206 LongRangers, which have amassed tens of thousands of flight hours. The ruggedized transmission with a transient power capability of 475 kw (637 hp). The four-bladed main rotor system with all-composite, lifetime rotorblades is capable of surviving shell hits up to .50 caliber.
Armed OH-58D improved-production aircraft provide both active and passive protection against threats through use of the following survivability equipment: Infrared seeker jammer; Pulse and CW radar warning receivers; Laser warning detector; and Inherent infrared suppression. The improved production Kiowa Warrior will have a completely digital avionic suite consisting of an integrated cockpit control and display system with a digital moving map display, improved master control processor with digital map and video crosslink, along with an improved data modem, secure radio communications, and a GPS embedded in the inertial navigation system.
In addition to the digital systems integrated into all OHW-58D(I)s, the Kiowa Warriors taking part in the TF XXI advanced warfighting experiment (AWE) had a number of digitized systems installed. Embedded GPS in an inertial navigation system (EGI) replaces the current doppler/attitude heading reference system (AHRS) combination; it provides increased navigation accuracy. The Improved master controller processor unit (IMCPU) provides a new digital map display on the multifunction display (MFD). The IMCPU also provides the processing power and memory necessary for integration of the other aircraft upgrades. The Improved data modem (IDM) is the Kiowa Warrior's link to the digital battlefield. It replaces the ATHS of the existing Kiowa Warrior; it allows digital data to be transferred over the frequency modulated (FM)I, FM2, ultra-high frequency (UHF), and very high frequency-amplitude modulated (VHF-AM) radios using either TACFIRE or variable message format (VMF) messages. The SINCGARS system improvement program (SIP) radio replaces the FMI and FM2 radios and the associated data rate adapters (DRAs) in the current Kiowa Warrior. The SINCGARS SIP radio provides faster data communication in a jamming or high-noise environment. The Video image crosslink (VIXL) provides the Kiowa Warrior with the capability to send and receive still frame images over one of the FM radios. The VIXL consists of a circuit card installed in the IMCPU. VIXL ground stations will consist of an AMPS with a tactical communication interface module (TCIM) and a SINCGARS radio. The ground stations will be used to transfer VIXL images on the ground. The Improved mast-mounted-sight system processor (IMSP) is a direct replacement for the existing mast-mounted-sight system processor (MSP) in the Kiowa Warrior. The IMSP provides enhanced targeting through improved tracking lock-on and reacquisition, television (TV)/Thermal image sensor (TIS) split screen; i.e., provides TV and TIS images on the same display page. Auto cue--detects and highlights moving targets.
The Improved Mast Mounted Sight System Processor (IMSP) replaces the initial configuration MMS System Processor (MSP). The product improved aircraft includes a new high-speed digital signal processor that will provide improved tracking capabilities by split-screen in both TV and Thermal Imaging Sight (TIS) modes, low contrast target tracking, simultaneous multi-target tracking of up to six targets, moving target indicator, aided target recognition, and automatic reaquiring of targets lost due to obstruction. The operator video display will reflect real time TV zoom and still frame capabilities. The IMSP enhancements consist of the use of high-speed Gallium Arsenide based digital signal processor integrated circuits in the MMS signal processor. The Circuit Card Assembly count in the processor will be reduced from 30 to 16. This reduction and use of state-of-the-art component technology enhances reliability, maintainability, and supportability. The IMSP provides for enhanced growth and does not require substantial aircraft hardware changes. An update to the aircraft software, however, is required to execute the enhanced functions of the upgraded processor. This provides for future insertion of neural net automatic target recognition, identification of friend or foe, passive ranging, and real-time image enhancements. Form and fit of the existing MMS system processor is maintained, and is backwards compatible with the MMS System Processor (MSP). As of July 1997, all aircraft delivered from the Bell Helicopter production lots had the IMSP installed. All retrofit aircraft will be equipped MSPs. As the MSPs are removed through attrition, they are replaced with IMSPs.
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