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.
Read the full article: Bell Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH): Hunter AND Killer