|Type:||Light observation/utility heicopter|
|Armament:||2 machine guns, 2 machine gun pods, 14 rockets in 2 pods, 4 TOW missles in 2 pods, 4 Hellfire missiles in 2 pods|
|Rotor Diameter:||26' 5”|
|Empty Weight:||1,230 lbs.|
|Gross Weight:||2,700 lbs.|
|Cruise Speed:||150 mph|
|Maximum Speed:||175 mph|
|Powerplant:||Allison t63-A5A Turboshaft|
Courtesy of the United States Army
The OH-6A is a light observation helicopter (LOH, hence the nickname “Loach”) which was first flown in 1963. Extremely maneuverable, it was used during the Vietnam War by the U.S. Army for command and control, observation, target acquisition, and reconnaissance.
The OH-6A was often teamed with the Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter as part of what were known as “Pink Teams.” The Cayuse would find the targets and mark them with colored smoke for the the Cobras to then attack. The OH-6A could also be armed with side-mounted guns and grenade launchers.
The Cayuse, which replaced the Bell OH-13 Sioux and Hiller OH-23 Raven in the Army's inventory, was also sold in ten countries and built under license in Italy and Japan.
Variants based on the OH-6 are still in active use by the Army and police departments, as well as with the Spanish Navy and Japanese Ground Defense Force. Hughes also developed a civilian version, the Model 500 which today is being produced by MD Helicopters as the MD 500.
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