The US Army's new ARH-70A armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) made its first flight at Bell Helicopters' XworX site in Arlington, Texas last month. The 1.5h debut sortie marked the start of a flight-test programme that will clear the way for the delivery of 407 ARHs from 2008. User testing of the ARH system is expected to run between late 2006 and early next year, with full-rate production set to start in fiscal year 2009. The new aircraft will be used to replace the US Army's current fleet of Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors.

Source: Flight International