Bell ARH-70

Bell ARH-70

Infobox Aircraft

caption= An ARH-70 approaches Cairns Army Airfield at Fort Rucker
type=Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter
manufacturer=Bell Helicopter
first flight=
status=Under development
primary user=United States Army
more users=
number built=
developed from=Bell 407
variants with their own articles=Bell 417

The Bell ARH-70 is a U.S. Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH), with a crew of 2 and optimized for urban combat. Currently in development, it will replace the Army's aging OH-58D Kiowa Warrior recon helicopters. It takes over part of the mission that the abandoned RAH-66 Comanche would have been responsible for. It is built with off-the-shelf technology and is based on the Bell 407, itself based on the Bell 206 from which the OH-58 was developed. While the name Arapaho has been used in some media, including an US Army press release, [ [ Aviation Modernization Program to Field Lakota, Modify Current Helos] ] to refer to the ARH-70, it has not been announced by the US Army as an official popular name.


By 2004, the U.S. Army had lost more than 30 of its 368 OH-58Ds through accidents and combat losses, many in Iraq. With the Comanche canceled and the OH-58D built on an aging Vietnam-era airframe, Army officials issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the ARH on December 9, 2004. [ [] accessed 1 October 2007] . In an attempt to avoid the protracted development and high cost of the Comanche, the ARH was to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology and reach operational status in four years. The goal: to have an operational unit of 30 helicopters and eight trainers ready by September 2008.

Two companies submitted bids: [ [ Filling Comanche's Shoes] ]

*Boeing proposed the upgraded version of the MH-6 Little Bird, the MH-6M Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB). Because the aircraft was already in service with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, it became the predictive favorite despite doubts that MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) could ramp up production to meet the contract's demands. To alleviate this concern, Boeing offered itself as the prime contractor with MDHI as a very critical subcontractor.

*Bell Helicopter Textron proposed an update of the OH-58D concept in a militarized version of the Bell 407, using a more powerful Honeywell HTS900 turbine engine and the Bell 427 tail assembly. This would allow the Army to use its existing OH-58 supply chain, a major consideration.

On July 29, 2005, Bell won a contract for 368 helicopters, with the first production vehicles to be delivered in mid 2007, and in the field by end of 2008.

By July 20, 2006, Bell had its first ARH-70A in test flights at its XworX development facility in Arlington, Texas. [ [ "ARH-70A First Flight!"] . Bell, July 20, 2006.] On February 21, 2007 one of the four ARH-70A test helicopters made a forced landing on a golf course near the development facility. The vehicle suffered a loss of power during its maiden flight and made an autorotational landing. [ ['s%20ARH%20Prototype%20Makes%20Crash%20Landing&channel=defense "Army's ARH Prototype Makes Crash Landing"] . Aviation Week, 21 February 2007.]

On March 22, 2007 the U.S. Army issued a Stop Work notice, giving Bell thirty days to come up with a plan to get the ARH program back on track. Previous estimates for the System Development Demonstration portion of the program had grown from $210 million to over $300 million. Textron, Bell's parent company, notified investors that they could lose $2-4 million on each aircraft under the contract. [ [ US Army orders Bell to stop work on ARH and come up with new plan] . Flight International. Accessed 24 March 2007.] On May 18, 2007, the U.S. Army approved continuation of the ARH program. [ [ Army to Continue with Bell Helicopter/Textron Inc. for Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter] , US Army, 18 May 2007.]

On July 25, 2007, the House Appropriations Committee’s Defense panel released its 2008 Pentagon budget which zeroed out funding for ARH-70 production, but continued research and development. ["Significant Cuts", [ Talking Points On Milcon-Va Provisions In The Cr] , US House of Representatives, 2008.]

In January 2008, US government officials began working on export policy to allow international sales of the ARH-70. They expect orders to total over 1000 including the US Army ordering 512. [ [ "Daily News: Army Requests Hundreds of ARH-70As"] , Rotor & Wing magazine, January 23, 2008.]

On July 9, 2008 the ARH-70 program filed a Nunn-McCurdy cost and schedule breach when new cost estimates showed a 40% cost increase above initial estimates. In August 2008, the US Army has requested that Bell cease hiring workers for the ARH-70 program pending the outcome of the Nunn-McCurdy review. [ [ "ARH Breaches Nunn-McCurdy Caps"] , Aviation Week, July 10, 2008]

pecifications (ARH-70)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?= copter
jet or prop?= prop
ref=Bell ARH-70, [ [ Bell ARH-70 page] ] Bell 407 [ [ Bell 407 specifications page] ]
crew=2 pilots
capacity=six passengers
length main=34 ft 8 in
length alt=10.57 m
span main=35 ft 0 in 35
span alt=10.67 m
height main=11 ft 8 in
height alt=3.56 m
area main=962 ft²
area alt=89 m²
empty weight main=2,598 lb
empty weight alt=1,178 kg
loaded weight main=5,000 lb
loaded weight alt=2,268 kg
useful load main=1,868 lb
useful load alt=847 kg
max takeoff weight main=5,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt=2,268 kg
more general=
engine (prop)=Honeywell HTS900-2
type of prop=turboshaft
number of props=1
power main=970 shp
power alt=723 kW
power original=
max speed main=140 kts
max speed alt=161 mph, 259 km/h
max speed more=
cruise speed main=113 kts
cruise speed alt=130 mph, 209 km/h
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
range main=>162 nmi
range alt=186 miles, 300 km
ceiling main=20,000 ft
ceiling alt=6,096 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
guns=1× GAU-19 .50 in Gatling gun
rockets=Hydra 70 2.75 in (70 mm) rockets

ee also

* OH-58 Kiowa
* Bell 407
* Bell 417

similar aircraft=
* MH-6M
* Cicaré CH-14

* List of active United States military aircraft
see also=
* US Helicopter Armament Subsystems
* U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command


External links

* [ Official Bell ARH web page]
* [ Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter page on]
* [ Urban Conflicts Shape New Recon Helicopter]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bell ARH-70 — Bel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bell ARH-70 — ARH 70 Un ARH 70 en las proximidades del aeródromo Cairns del Ejército estadounidense en Fort Rucker, 29 de enero de 2008. Tipo Helicóptero de reconocimiento armado …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bell ARH-70 — ARH 70 Arapaho ARH 70 на армейском вертодроме, 29 января 2008. Тип разведывательно ударный вертолёт …   Википедия

  • Bell ARH-70 Arapaho — ARH 70 Arapaho L hélicoptère sans armement. Rôle Hélicoptère de reconnaissance armée Constructeur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ARH-70 — Bell ARH 70 Bell ARH 70 Prototyp …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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