Dec 10, 2013
US Army Plans To Scrap Kiowa Helo Fleet
The plan also calls for giving active Black Hawk helicopters to the Guard, while taking half of the Guard’s Lakota fleet, using them as active-duty trainers and scrapping its Jet Rangers.
While a final decision has yet to be made, the industry sources had the impression that the deal was all but done.
The deal would be done in the interest of cutting costs and reducing the number of different helicopter types in the Army, but questions remain about the affordability of using the Apache to fill the scout role.
Once the Army divests itself of its 338 active-duty and 30 National Guard Kiowas and pulls Apaches from the National Guard, the service will then provide the Guard with Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in order to give the Guard more capability as it conducts its homeland defense and disaster response missions.
The Army has 570 Apaches, while the Guard has 192 and the Army Reserve has 48.
The goal is to have a total of 690 AH-64E Apaches in the Army.
The Guard is also expected to gain 111 Black Hawks from the active duty, while the reserve will receive 48, and the end-state calls for 1,033 Black Hawk helicopters in the active Army, 960 in the Guard and 142 in the reserve.
Part of the plan also entails retiring the active-duty Bell TH-67 Jet Ranger training helicopters, and moving about 100 EADS UH-72 Lakotas from the active Army and 104 of the Guard’s 212 Lakotas for this purpose.
Although the Kiowa program kicked off in 1969, the Kiowa Warriors being used today were built from 1985 onward. The entire fleet has been completely reset and remachined over the past decade, with the upgrade program ending in 2011.