OV-1 Mohawk

OV-1 Mohawk

Infobox Aircraft
name = OV-1 Mohawk
type = light attack and observation aircraft
manufacturer = Grumman

caption =
designer =
first flight = April 14 1959.
introduced = October 1959
retired =
status =
primary user = United States Army
more users =
produced =
number built =
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =

The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk is an armed military observation and attack aircraft, designed for battlefield surveillance and light strike capabilities. It is of twin turboprop configuration, and carried two crewmembers with side by side seating. The Mohawk was intended to operate from short, unimproved runways in support of Army maneuver forces.


The prototype (YAO-1AF) first flew on April 14, 1959. The OV-1 entered production in October 1959 and served the U.S. Army in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Central and South America, Alaska, and during Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East. The Mohawk was removed from U.S. Army service in September 1996.

Over the years, the mission and the aircraft underwent many changes. About 380 of the aircraft were built, and deployed in Vietnam, Germany, Desert Storm and Korea. Mohawk variants included the JOV-1 [armed reconnaissance] , OV-1A, [visual and photographic] , OV-1B [visual, photographic, and side-looking radar (SLAR) pod] , the OV-1C [visual, photographic, and infrared] , and the OV-1D (SLAR pod and bigger wings), OV-1E [enlarged fuselage for more sensor operators or cargo] , EV-1E [Special electronic intelligence installation] and RV-1E [advanced ELINT Reconnaissance] . A four-engined Model 134E with tiltwings and tail ducted fan for control for VTOL was proposed to the Army but not built. Model 134R was a tandem cockpit version offered to meet the LARA requirement, but the NA300 was chosen instead becoming the OV-10.

The Mohawk began as a joint Army-Marine program, through the Navy aeronautical bureau, for an observation/attack plane that would outperform the Cessna L-19 Bird Dog. In June 1956, the Army issued Type Specificationn TS145, which called for the development and procurement of a two-seat, twin turboprop aircraft designed to operate from small, unimproved fields under all weather conditions. It would be faster, with greater firepower, and heavier armour than the Bird Dog, which had proved vulnerable during the Korean War. The Mohawk's mission would include observation, artillery spotting, air control, emergency resupply, naval target spotting, liaison, and radiological monitoring. The Navy specified that the aircraft must be capable of operating from small "jeep" escort class carriers (CVEs). The DoD selected Grumman Aircraft Corporation's G-134 design as the winner of the competition in 1957.

The Air Force did not like the armament capability of the Mohawk and tried to get it removed. The Marines did not want the sophisticated sensors the Army wanted, so when their Navy sponsors opted to buy a fleet oil tanker, they dropped from the program. The Army continued with armed Mohawks and developed cargo pods that could be dropped from underwing hard points to resupply troops in emergencies.

Operational History

Pilots and enlisted observers in Mohawks in Vietnam would detect the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemy by virtue of their excellent downward visibility (afforded by the bubble canopy) as well as sensors, and immediately attack them with 2.75 inch rockets and .50-caliber heavy machine gun pod fire. The twin T53 turbine engines mounted horizontally, turning 3-bladed propellers, were very quiet so the VC/NVA did not hear them coming. In contrast, a single T53 turbine mounted so as to spin a large rotor blade as in Huey or Huey-Cobra helicopters, gives off a loud "wop-wop-wop" sound detectable from miles away. The VC/NVA referred to the Mohawks as the "Whispering Death"Fact|date=February 2008. One Mohawk, piloted by Captain Ken Lee, even shot down a NVAF MIG-17 in 1968 while operating in Laos along the border with North Vietnam. Army field commanders needed their own fixed-wing aircraft capable of providing fast reactive air support from forward operating bases since they could be on the scene much faster than USAF aircraft requiring longer, paved runways on bases farther back from the battlefield.

Pressures from the USAF caused the Army to downplay the armed nature of their Mohawks who were shifted from division-level control to higher echelon control resulting in their under-utilization as mere observation platforms; a practice that continued all the way to 1996.

Outside the U.S. Army, the military operators of the Mohawk have been the South Korean Air Force, Israeli Air Force and the Argentine Army where it is still in service.


;YAO-1 (YOV-1A) : Initial prototypes (9 built).;OV-1A (AO-1AF) : Daylight observation variant (64 built).;OV-1B (AO-1BF) : SLAR variant (101 built).;OV-1C (AO-1CF) : IR reconnaissance variant (169 built).;OV-1D : Consolidated sensor variant (37 new, 82 conversions).;JOV-1A : OV-1As & OV-1Cs fitted with armament (59 conversions).;RV-1C : Quick Look ELINT machines (2 conversions).;RV-1D : Quick Look II ELINT machine (31 conversions).;OV-1E : Prototype for unproduced modernized variant (one built).


;ARG :
* Argentine Army;ISR :
* Israeli Air Force;KOR :
*South Korean Air Force;USA :
* US Army (withdrawn from service)


Below is a list of flying and static Mohawks which survive :

Flying Mohawks

* Argentine Army Aviation receives 23 OV-1 in the 1990s. Ten are operational and the rest are used for spare parts.
* Carolinas Aviation Museum flies two Mohawks to airshows (874 & 890)
* [http://www.cavanaughflightmuseum.com/Mohawk.htm Cavanaugh Flight Museum] flies one Mohawk
* American Warplane Museum in WI flies 2 or 3 Mohawks
* Army Aviation Heritage Foundation Hampton, GA Flies 631 "B" Model and 005 "d" Model http://www.armyav.org

tatic Display Mohawks

* Fort Huachuca maintains a static display of an OV-1D Mohawk at the intersection of Hatfield and Irwin Streets
* The Pima Air & Space Museum lists an OV-1C Mohawk as a static display (located near Hangar #1)
* The Evergreen Aviation Museum displays a static OV-1D Mohawk in their hangar
* The United States Army Intelligence and Security Command Headquarters Building at Fort Belvoir, VA displays a static OV-1D.
* Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, Titusville, Florida
* Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia displays a static OV-1D dedicated to former crews of the 224TH Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation)
* The 1st Cavalry Division Museum, Fort Hood, Texas displays a static OV-1D as part of the outdoor exhibit.
* The US Army Aviation Museum at Fort. Rucker, Alabama displays a static OV-1D as part of the outdoor exhibt on Red Cloud Avenue

pecifications (OV-1D)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
crew=Two, pilot & observer
length main=41 ft 0 in
length alt=12.50 m
span main=48 ft 0 in
span alt=14.63 m
height main=12 ft 8 in
height alt=3.86 m
area main=360 ft²
area alt=33.4 m²
empty weight main=11,760 lb
empty weight alt=5,330 kg
loaded weight main=lb
loaded weight alt= kg
max takeoff weight main=18,110 lb
max takeoff weight alt=8,215 kg
more general=
engine (prop)=Lycoming T53-L-701 [ [http://www.shanaberger.com/OV-1.htm Grumman OV-1 Mohawk] ]
type of prop=turboprops
number of props=2
power main=1,400 shp
power alt=1044 kW
max speed main=305 mph
max speed alt=490 km/h
range main=945 mi
range alt=1,520 km
ceiling main=25,000 ft
ceiling alt=7,620 m
climb rate main=3,450ft/min
climb rate alt=17.5m/s
loading main=lb/ft²
loading alt= kg/m²
power/mass main=hp/lb
power/mass alt= kW/kg
more performance=

ee also

similar aircraft=
* FMA IA 58 Pucará
* OV-10 Bronco
* SOKO J-20 Kraguj
see also=



OV-1 Mohawk Walk Around (Neubeck), Squadron/Signal Publications (2007)

External links

* [http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/aviation/factsheets/OV1.html OV-1 US Army Aviation history fact sheet]
* [http://www.vectorsite.net/avbtsv_1.html The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk at Greg Goebel's AIR VECTORS]

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