The U.S. Army is looking for a new armed aerial scout to replace the aircraft it has used since the Vietnam War, the Army announced on Sunday.
On April 25, the Army issued a request for information to replace its OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aircraft and expects to demonstrate proposed systems this summer or fall.
There are nearly 300 Koiwa Warriors in the Army’s fleet but the Army said the aircraft no longer meets the needs of commanders despite multiple modifications along the way.
The RFI asks for improvement sin speed range, endurance responsiveness, environmental performance and lethality based on its payload capacity.
Following solicitation, the Army plans to hold a voluntary flight demonstration in order to verify the data presented by organizations is accurate and so the Army knows what to ask for within the budget, said Ellis Golsen, director of the capability development and integration directorate of the Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
Solicitors are asked to propose either updates to the current Kiowa Warrior aircraft, a commercial off-the-shelf replacement or create an entirely new aircraft, the Army said.
Golsen said a new AAS needs to have capabilities to loiter, watch and be ready at a moment’s notice to mitigate attacks and target and destroy high-payoff targets.