A highly anticipated opportunity for contractors to demonstrate their helicopters for the U.S. Army’s armed aerial scout (AAS) requirement, originally planned for this spring, has been postponed until this summer or fall as the Army contemplates improving or replacing the aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior in the manned reconnaissance role.
Among the turbine engine programs Honeywell is featuring at Booth No. 2137 this week are a completely factory-remanufactured version of the venerable T53 that powered the Huey series and the brand-new HTS900 turboshaft for the Army Bell ARH-70A armed reconnaissance helicopter.
Since the dramatic cancellation of the stealthy Comanche attack helicopter in 2004, U.S. Army aviation has used the released funds to embark on a major rejuvenation by modernizing and augmenting the existing AH-64, UH-60 and CH-47 fleets, as well as procuring two new types.
After months of dodging questions about the status of the program, Bell Helicopter officials yesterday announced the company has canceled development of the single-engine 417 helicopter, which made its dramatic debut just a year ago at Heli-Expo.