Submits ARH Bid
Bell Helicopter submitted a bid Friday to build a militarized
version of its Bell 407 single engine light helicopter in response
to a Request For Proposal issued by the U.S. Army for an Armed
Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). The ARH decision, expected in late
July, calls for a total of 368 aircraft to be delivered between
fiscal years 2006 through 2011.
Bell Helicopter believes its Bell 407 is the perfect aircraft
for meeting the Army's current and future ARH mission requirements.
The Bell ARH, built at Bell's Military Assembly and Integration
Center in Amarillo, Texas, will draw from a large supplier base for
its sophisticated sensors, weapons and defensive systems. In
anticipation of the bid proposal, Bell has been flight testing an
ARH demonstrator helicopter.
The ARH will replace the Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. The Kiowa
armed reconnaissance helicopter has proven to be a reliable and
capable combat aircraft. Bell designed and performed the systems
integration on the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, the Army's first fully
digitized helicopter which has accumulated over 1.1 million hours
of flight time, including 200,000 combat flight hours.
Bell Helicopter is teamed with a number of aerospace suppliers
in the areas of Mission Equipment Package (MEP) and training
systems integration. Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, FLIR Systems,
L-3, Flight Safety (FSI) and Computer Sciences Corporation round
out Bell Helicopter's team in bringing the best practices of
industry to the Bell ARH program for the Army.
Capable of being equipped with a wide variety of weapons, the
Bell ARH will provide the Army with exceptional mission versatility
and flexibility to accomplish the armed reconnaissance, light
attack, troop insertion, and special operations missions. The Bell
ARH will provide this flexibility during the day or night and
during adverse weather or periods of poor visibility.
The Bell ARH provides the Army survivability features that
include low IR signature; warning and active countermeasures; armor
protection of crew and flight critical systems; crashworthy
improvements and the ability to carry three Warfighters. These
features increase the likelihood of survival in the most extreme
The Honeywell HTS900 turbine engine that is based on proven,
mature commercial and U.S. Army T800 technology and design will
power the Bell ARH. In additional to being designed for extremely
low Direct Operating Costs (DOC), the HTS900 turbine engine will be
equipped with a sophisticated dual-channel full authority digital
engine control (FADEC) system. The HTS900 provides the power needed
today with growth to accommodate changing missions and mission
equipment packages expected in the future.
One of the key requirements of the Army's RFP is deployability.
Two Bell ARH helicopters can be deployed aboard a C-130 and be
unloaded, flyable and ready to fight within 15 minutes.
And of course, as a Bell Helicopter, the Bell ARH will be
supported by Bell's product support organization with over 180
locations throughout the world.
Since its FAA certification in February 1996, Bell has
delivered 625 Bell 407's to customers throughout the world, making
it the fastest selling turbine powered civil helicopter in history.
The current fleet of Bell 407 helicopters has logged over 1.25
million flight hours, with the high time aircraft topping 10,000