Bell ARH-70 Arapaho Review, Top Speed, Specifications, Manufacturer – Bell’s ARH-70 was to be developed as a direct replacement for the U.S. Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior series of light reconnaissance helicopters, but the project was scrapped.
Bell ARH-70 Arapaho Review, Top Speed, Specifications, Manufacturer
|Type||Beechcraft / Raytheon T-6 Texan II|
|Year of Development||2006|
|Engine||Honeywell’s HTS900-2 turboprop engine, rated at 970 horsepower, drives a four-bladed main rotor and a two-bladed tail rotor|
|Top Speed||161 mph (259 km/h)|
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – Bell’s ARH-70 helicopter was developed for the U.S. Army as a direct successor to the successful but aging Kiowa Warrior series of light reconnaissance helicopters.
Designed for the US Army
The program was designed to reduce manufacturing and procurement costs for the U.S. military by developing products using existing, proven components.
The Bell ARH was born out of this requirement and is essentially a military version of the highly successful civilian Bell 407 product. This new helicopter system closely resembles its expected successor, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior.
The ARH-70 was created after the official cancellation of the RAH-66 Comanche, a two-seat light attack helicopter designed for covert reconnaissance in the US Army’s ARH (Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter) program. The initial production version is called the ARH-70A.
Production Notice in 2004
In December 2004, the US Army issued a letter of inquiry and interested parties submitted proposals.
In December 2004, the US Army issued a solicitation and interested parties submitted proposals.
Among them were the Bell 407 (known as an upgraded version of the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior) and Boeing’s Response (essentially an upgraded version of the MH-6 Little Bird). In the end, Bell won the battle and was awarded a multi-million dollar production contract on July 29, 2005.
At one point, it was estimated that the U.S. Army alone could purchase about 512 systems in total, and another prototype was agreed upon after it was transferred to the Army National Guard to replace the aging AH-64 Apache.