OH-58F Kiowa first flight and V-22 tankers.

Army.mil has an article on the first flight of the newest variant of the ubiquitous OH-58 Kiowa Scout helicopter.

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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?

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Jokes to follow about a certain Lexican ahem…”passing gas.”

Cross-posted at The Lexicans.

5 thoughts on “OH-58F Kiowa first flight and V-22 tankers.”

  1. You know, don’t like this upgrade. One advantage the Kiowas had was the ability to hide behind terrain and raise the ball above the IV line or tree line. As an old DIV CAV trooper, I remember many times the Kiowa dipped into the trees, blades trimming the tops of the trees with just the ball peering up above.

    1. True, but for the VAST majority of the KW’s time, they’ve been overhead, looking down. Putting the sensor on top seems kinda silly for that. Plus, that’s just about the worst spot, vibration and maintenance wise, that you could put a sensor.

    2. I think I’d want to add something on top. Maybe not on the rotor head, but between the blades and cabin so you could hide better. Depending on the nose only mount will make something low and slow quite vulnerable.

    3. The VAST majority of the time they didn’t even use the MMS. Most of the targets spotted downrange was by using MARK 1 eyeballs. I know the old saw about fighting the last war, but currently they don’t hide behind much of anything to find targets. The MMS wasn’t too effective at looking down through the rotor system as you might imagine that effects laser target designation a bit.

      If they aim to use the F model until 2025, I think that its “replacement” will be uninhabited.

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