Croatia is on course to receive 16 former US OH-58D Kiowa recce and light attack helicopters, with first deliveries due later this year. Inspection of the helicopters took place last month in Fort Bragg (North Carolina) and Redstone Arsenal (Alabama). The US will donate the helos to Croatia, with a formal agreement to be signed soon.
Airheadsfly.com reported on the Croation Kiowas last year already. A Croatian team inspected the choppers and their documentation, plus examined and selected training simulators to be used for pilot training. Maintenance details and other conditions for operational use by the Croatian Armed Forces were also discussed with US experts, as well as transportation of the Kiowas to Croatia.
As many as 14 of 16 selected helicopters are still in operational use with the US Army and will be taken over in well-maintained condition. The helicopters were manufactured in the period 2012-2015 and each have between 100 and 600 flying hours.
The Kiowas are capable of carrying machine guns, Hellfire missiles, air-to-air Stinger (ATAS) missile and 2.75″ Folding Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR). Also, the helicopters are fitted with passive protection for the crew and the vital parts of the helicopter, plus provisions for active counter-measures against threats.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A US Army OH-58 Kiowa, seen during operations in Afghanistan in December 2011. (Image © US Army)