US Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter

DRS Technologies’ Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition (RSTA) Group has been awarded a contract to provide programme support, field service and logistics for mast-mounted sights (MMS) fitted on the US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters.

The $31.9m order is part of a $400m contract signed with the Integrated Materiel Management Center (IMMC) of the US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) for 2009-2013, which is a follow-on of a previous five-year $514m master indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract that ran from 2004 through 2008.

The latest contract provides RSTA with funding for MMS programme management, quality oversight, supply chain management, engineering resources, and field service facilities for 2012.

Additional services included are support, logistics resources, operations management, contract administration and financial administration.

Currently used on the OH-58D Kiowa armed reconnaissance helicopters, the MMS sensor suite is a fully integrated multi-sensor electro-optical sighting system which enables warfighters to identify and target potential threats during day/night, and in limited-visibility and adverse weather conditions.

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The system features a high-resolution TV camera, thermal imaging sensor (TIS) for night time operations, and a laser rangefinder/designator (LRF/D), along with a system processor, power supply, protective shrouds and other components.

The MMS, mounted above the helicopter’s rotor, promotes stealth and extended standoff ranges, allowing craft to hide behind existing terrain while maintaining 360-degree surveillance.

RSTA has produced and delivered electronics and sensors, regularly replacing and upgrading components for the MMS at depots overseas and in the US to keep the system current from both a technical and performance standpoint over the past 10 years.

The Bell-built OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is a single-engine military helicopter used by the US Army for conducting observation, utility, direct fire support and armed reconnaissance missions in support of ground troops.

Image: Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior mounted with mast-mounted sight is used by the US Army for armed reconnaissance missions.