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These new features gave the aircraft the additional mission capability of target acquisition and laser designation in day or night, limited-visibility and adverse weather.
On 10 July 1980, the Army decided that the NTSH would be a competitive modification program based on developments in the commercial helicopter industry, particularly Hughes Helicopters development of the Hughes 500D which provided significant improvements over the OH-6.
While no development occurred during the next few years, the program survived as a requirement without funding.
On 30 November 1979, the decision was made to defer development of an advanced scout helicopter in favor of pursuing modification of existing airframes in the inventory as a near term scout helicopter (NTSH) option.
The Secretary of the Army directed instead that the aircraft's armament systems be upgraded, based on experience with Task Force 118's performance operating armed OH-58D helicopters in the Persian Gulf in support of Operation Prime Chance, and that the aircraft be used primarily for scouting and armed reconnaissance.
The armed aircraft would be known as the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, denoting its new armed configuration.On 1 April 1986, the Army formed a task force at Fort Rucker, Alabama, to remedy deficiencies in the AHIP.