Weapon Systems:

Changing Roles and Priorities for the Army's OH-58D Helicopter Program

NSIAD-88-236: Published: Sep 30, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's OH-58D helicopter program, to determine the Army's current plans to meet its aerial scout mission needs.

GAO found that the Army initiated the Helicopter Improvement Program to upgrade existing OH-58 helicopters to OH-58D helicopters. GAO also found that the OH-58D has served with: (1) AH-64 Apache attack helicopter units as a target locator and designator; (2) air cavalry units to perform aerial reconnaissance for ground commanders; and (3) artillery units as a target locator and designator. In addition, GAO found that the Army: (1) in July 1988, approved procuring 375 OH-58D for air cavalry units and artillery units; (2) is considering arming most OH-58D with air-to-ground weapons; (3) is considering using OH-58D with AH-64 in attack helicopter units in the future; and (4) estimated that the procurement cost of each OH-58D armed with air-to-ground weapons was $7.1 million.

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