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The US Navy was managing the program for the Army and quickly rejected the OH-4A: it was designed almost strictly for the observation role, with extensive glazing, but didn't have the carriage capability to really fill the utility role.
Deliveries began in May 1969, with the Kiowa promptly going into combat in Vietnam.
This document provides a history and description of the Jet Ranger family.
 BELL MODEL 206A JETRANGER / TH-57A SEARANGER / OH-58A, B, C KIOWA  BELL MODEL 206B JETRANGER / TH-57B, C SEARANGER / TH-67 CREEK  BELL MODEL 206L LONGRANGER  OH-58D KIOWA WARRIOR  BELL MODEL 400 / MODEL 407 & MODEL 417 / ARH-70  BELL MODEL 427 / MODEL 429  BELL MODEL 505 / VARIANT LIST  COMMENTS, SOURCES, & REVISION HISTORY * In 1960, the US Army initiated a "Light Observation Helicopter (LOH)" competition to acquire a modern replacement for the Bell Model 47 / H-13 and other light piston helicopters in the scout and utility role.
The Model 206A had skid landing gear, plus seats for five, consisting of two single seats in front and three seats across in back. There was a baggage compartment behind the passenger compartment, with the door on the left.
Pontoons or inflatable floats were optional, as were dual controls and an external belly sling hook with a maximum load capacity of 545 kilograms (1,200 pounds).