The “cockpit and sensor upgrade program,” called CASUP, converts OH-58D Kiowa Warriors into OH-58F models. The CASUP program is “designed to address obsolescence in the aircraft as well as the capabilities of the sensor,” said Col. Robert Grigsby, project manager, Armed Scout Helicopters.
Perhaps the biggest change to the aircraft is that the familiar sensor ball, which is mast-mounted above the rotor in older models, has been moved down to the front of the aircraft. The nose-mounted common sensor payload includes improved optics, an infra-red sensor, laser pointer and laser spot tracker.
Cockpit And Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP) will address additional capabilities, safety enhancements and obsolescence issues to allow the aircraft to safely serve as the Army’s day/night, armed-reconnaissance, aviation platform until 2025 or when replaced/retired. The CASUP will convert the OH-58D to the OH-58F configuration. Efforts include upgrading to Control Display Subsystem version 5 (CDS 5), adding a second AN/ARC-231 SATCOM radio, adding a third multifunction display (MFD), + armament enhancements. Further, the CASUP will replace the mast mounted sight with an advanced nose-mounted sensor, and other weight and obsolescence reduction upgrades. The new sensor, the Raytheon AN/AAS-53 Common Sensor Payload, includes cutting-edge sensing technologies such as an advanced infrared camera, a color Electro-Optical camera and an image intensifier.
Not bad for a helo that was first used by the Army in 1969.
In other news, Boeing will be testing tanker kit for the V-22 Osprey. I’d call it a KV-22 Osprey?
Jokes to follow about a certain Lexican ahem…”passing gas.”
Cross-posted at The Lexicans.