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Bell Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH): Hunter AND Killer

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August 1, 2005

Image Gallery (13 images)

August 2, 2005 Bell Helicopter last week was awarded a US$2.2 billion contract by the United States Army to build 368 of its next generation Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) between 2006 and 2013. The ARH will replace the Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Helicopter and it is a significant improvement being fast agile and able to stalk its prey like nothing else in the air. Indeed, there's nothing it can’t spot in any weather, day or night thanks to its FLIR system. Not only can it track its prey, it can also be proactive thanks to an array of weapons systems such as a 2,000rpm Gatling gun, 2.75 inch rockets, Hellfire missiles or as many as 38 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) tubes at one time. With room for two pilots and three passengers, the ARH has room for the smartest weapons of all. Finally, it thrives in adverse conditions with its high ballistic tolerance, crashworthiness and the latest aircraft survivability equipment. Bell’s ARH is a militarized version of its highly successful 407 single engine light helicopter – sometimes known as the “sports car of the air.” Capable of being equipped with a wide variety of weapons, the Bell ARH will provide the Army with exceptional mission versatility and with the flexibility to accomplish armed reconnaissance, light attack, troop insertion, and special operations missions with a single aircraft. Check out this video of the Bell ARH doing its thing. WARNING: High intensity audio. Check headphones!

“We are honored to have been chosen by the U.S. Army to continue our legacy of providing outstanding Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter technology,” said Mike Redenbaugh, Chief Executive Officer of Bell Helicopter Textron. “The Army requires a state-of-the art Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and that’s exactly what Bell Helicopter will deliver.”

Bell’s ARH is a militarized version of its highly successful 407 single engine light helicopter – sometimes known as the “sports car of the air.” Capable of being equipped with a wide variety of weapons, the Bell ARH will provide the Army with exceptional mission versatility and with the flexibility to accomplish armed reconnaissance, light attack, troop insertion, and special operations missions with a single aircraft. The Bell ARH will also provide greater deployability, interoperability and survivability.

“We look forward to this partnership both with the Army and with our world-class aerospace suppliers—to provide a premier aircraft to America’s troops,” Redenbaugh said.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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