The Bell OH-58 Kiowa is a single-engine light reconnaissance, liaison and combat helicopter. It had been developed and built by Bell in the 1960s for the United States Army as a reconnaissance helicopter. Since then, the basic model has been steadily developed further and was built until the end of the 1990s. United States Army helicopters are still used today with a combat enhanced variant of the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior as combat zone reconnaissance and target assignment helicopters.
It has a two-blade main and rear engine with exposed tail rotor shaft, a skid landing gear and is equipped with a turbine engine.
The Kiowa is used by the German Army as a “pathfinder” for air landings, liaison and observation flights, imaging flights and – specially equipped – for border surveillance. All OH-58B were models for export to Austria. The first OH-58Bs for Austria were delivered to Langenlebarn on June 14, 1976 (registration numbers 3C-OA to 3C-OF) in crates, partially assembled.
The Kiowa is armed with an M-134 “Minigun” in the Austrian Army.