Friday November 18, 2011
What is it?
The Wartime Replacement Aircraft (WRA) Program is an Army initiative to replace OH-58Ds that have been either destroyed or deemed uneconomically reparable and therefore must be attrited from the force. The Army is replacing wartime losses suffered by the OH-58D fleet by taking existing "A" model cabins and upgrading them to "D" model cabins and capabilities. This is done through an element of the WRA program called the "A2D" conversion program, which also allows the Integrated Materiel Management Center (IMMC) to meet their OPS29 requirements and have D cabins on the shelf and on hand to repair damaged OH-58D aircraft.
The Crash Battle Damage (CBD) Aircraft Program is another successful Army initiative to put Kiowas back in the fight, reduces platform sustainment costs, and contains the expense of replacing aging helicopters. The repair program began in November 2008 when CCAD, together with the Project Office for Armed Scout Helicopters (PM ASH), Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMCOM), Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) and Bell Helicopters, inducted a crash damaged OH-58D aircraft to be repaired.
What has the Army done?
Eighteen WRA cabins are on contract and 42 WRA aircraft are scheduled to be built as part of the WRA program. IMMC is purchasing some of those cabins to help rebuild Crash Battle Damage aircraft.
The first depot repair of a KW aircraft was completed in 2009 and first Crash Battle Damage aircraft in 2010. The first A2D wartime replacement cabin was completed by Bell Helicopter in June 2011. The second cabin under the current A2D conversion program is contracted for delivery in January 2012, with follow-on cabin deliveries taking place monthly starting in March 2012.
What does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is currently working a service life assessment program to evaluate what structural improvements should be implemented to improve reliability. Enhancements would be incorporated through Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs).
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army will rely on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior as the primary air cavalry helicopter until 2025. The Army is aggressively pursuing ways to maintain and sustain the aircraft in the fight, and continued support will be needed for ongoing fleet upgrades that address obsolescence, improve reliability, increased capability and puts OH-58Ds back in the fight.
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