Information Papers - Transform

Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter

What is it? 
The armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) is the replacement aircraft for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior fleet.  It combines a modified commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) airframe with a non-developmental-item mission equipment package.  It will provide a robust reconnaissance and security capability for the Joint/Combined Force air-ground maneuver team.
What has the Army done? 
Once the ARH was designated an Acquisition Category ID program at Milestone B in July 2005, a system development and demonstration (SDD) contract was immediately awarded.   Since July 2005, three SDD prototype aircraft have been produced, and they have flown for more than 500 hours as of November 1, 2007.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? 
The Army continues on a path to a Milestone C, low-rate-initial-production (LRIP) decision in June 2008.  In support of that decision, a limited user test will be conducted in November 2007.  The first ten LRIP aircraft are required for an initial operational test and evaluation (IOTE) to be conducted by the Army Test and Evaluation Command in the second quarter of FY10.  A successful IOTE would support a full-rate production decision in the fourth quarter of FY10 and delivery of the first ARH-equipped unit in the first quarter of FY11.

Why is this important to the Army? 
The ARH will be fielded to support current forces in the Global War on Terror and will possess the growth potential necessary to bridge the capability gaps to the future force.  It is the only planned replacement aircraft for the ageing OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, which is no longer in production.