The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is an attack helicopter used by the US Army since 1988. Developed and manufactured by Bell, it is a version of the OH-58 oberservation helicopter, which had entered service in 1969, being first deployed in Vietnam. The OH-58D was first used abroad in Operation Prime Chance in 1988, escorting oil tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Irak War, but it first saw combat action a year later, during Operation Just Cause in Panama. Bristling with rockets and anti-tank missiles, it would play an important role in Operation Enduring Freedom, in 2002, in Afghanistan, and in Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2003, alongside the AH-64 Apache, attacking Iraqi Army’s armored units.
In order to turn the OH-58 Kiowa into the ground-attack helicopter OH-58D Warrior, it was fitted with a more powerful engine and a new four-bladed main rotor, with a round mast-mounted sight on top. Thus, it became faster and quieter than the first version, being able to operate day and night and under all weather conditions. Its crew can spot, identify, and select potential targets to be hit. To destroy tanks and armored vehicles, the Warrior is armed with AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles and Hydra 70 rockets. It is also armed with a .50-caliber machine gun or a M134 Minigun.
Length: 12.8 m
Rotor diameter: 10.7 m
Height: 3.9 m
Crew: 2 pilots
Power plant: one 650-hp, Rolls-Royce T703-AD-700A, turboshaft engine
Maximum speed: 240 km/h
Range: 556 km