Two AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and avionics ordered for the Marine Corps in $38.3 million deal
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Military helicopter designers at Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth, Texas, will build two new AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and avionics for the U.S. Marine Corps under terms of a $38.3 million U.S. Navy contract announced Wednesday.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command are asking Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, for the manufacture and delivery of two full-rate production Lot 14 AH-1Z aircraft.
The AH-1Z is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the AH-1W SuperCobra that features a four-blade rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system.
The attack helicopter has upgraded avionics, weapons, and electro-optical sensors designed to find targets at long ranges and attack them with precision weapons.
The Marine Corps H-1 upgrades program is building new helicopters, as well as rebuilding legacy AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1N Twin Huey utility helicopters with state of the art designs. The program seeks to upgrade AH-1Ws to AH-1Zs, and UH-1Ns to UH-1Ys.
The helicopter can carry a payload of 5,764 pounds, fly as fast as 222 knots, has a range of 370 nautical miles, and can fly as high as 20,000 feet.
The AH-1Z has a crew of two, and carries a 20-millimeter Gatling gun, and can fire 70-millimeter Hydra rockets, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, and AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles.
On this contract Bell Helicopter will do the work in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Texas, and should be finished by November 2019. For more information contact Bell Helicopter online at www.bellhelicopter.com, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.
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