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Bell Textron ARH-70A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
The Bell Textron ARH-70A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter is a militarized version of the Bell 407 single-engine light helicopter, modified to meet the Army's ARH program goals. The mission of the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) is to provide a robust reconnaissance and security capability for the Joint Combined arms air-ground maneuver team. The ARH is a combination of a modified off-the-shelf airframe integrated with a non-development item mission equipment package. The ARH will be fielded to support forces in the Global War on Terror and will possess the growth potential to bridge the capability gaps to Future Combat Force. The ARH will be a direct replacement for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior fleet, with fielding expected to begin in 2010.
The Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter ARH-70A, developed by the Program Executive Office, Aviation, Redstone Arsenal, AL, completed its first flight at Bell XworX in Arlington, TX, on 20 July 2006. The ARH-70A will be a dual crewstation, single-pilot-operable aircraft capable of operating worldwide in all airspace. The standard armed reconnaissance configuration will include the sensor assembly, active and passive countermeasures, external weapon systems, and communication suite. The ARH will be able to communicate on the battlefield with Army, Joint, and Coalition forces.
The Bell ARH-70A excels in low-hovering areas of urban street fighting and two ARH’s can be deployed from a C-130 in 15 minutes. The Bell ARH-70A also has more space and weight available for fuel, ammunition, and troops. The Bell ARH-70A is powered by the 925 shp Honeywell HTS900 turbine engine equipped with a sophisticated dual-channel full authority digital engine control (FADEC) system, based on U.S. Army T800 technology.
In addition to advanced navigation, communications, survivability, targeting and C2 systems, weapons systems on the ARH-70A platform include: