The armed aircraft would be known as the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, denoting its new armed configuration.
Beginning with the production of the 202nd aircraft (s/n 89-0112) in May 1991, all remaining OH-58D aircraft were produced in the Kiowa Warrior configuration.
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Bell Helicopter manufactured the OH-58 for the United States Army based on its Model 206A Jet Ranger helicopter. The latest model, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, is primarily operated in an armed reconnaissance role in support of ground troops.
The OH-58 has been exported to Austria, Canada, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia.
In 1967, the Army reopened the LOH competition for bids because Hughes Tool Co. Army began evaluating the need to improve the capabilities of their scout aircraft.
The development of a mast-mounted sight would be the primary focus to improve the aircraft's ability to perform reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition missions while remaining hidden behind trees and terrain.Bell Helicopter entered the competition along with 12 other manufacturers, including Hiller Aircraft and Hughes Tool Co., Aircraft Division.Bell developed the D-250 design into the Model 206 aircraft, redesignated as YOH-4A in 1962, and produced five prototype aircraft for the Army's test and evaluation phase. When the YOH-4A was rejected by the Army, Bell went about solving the problem of marketing the aircraft.Both the UH-1 and the OH-58 were evaluated as NTSH candidates, but the UH-1 was dropped from consideration due to its larger size and ease of detection.The OH-58, on the other hand demonstrated a dramatic reduction in detectability with a Mast-Mounted Sight (MMS).