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military helicopters • gunships • army attack helicopters
military helicopters
american special operations

AH-1W Super Cobra Helicopter

The AH-1W is a twin-engined upgraded and improved AH-1 flown by the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Super Cobras are also in service the Tawainese and Turkish militaries. The AH-1 'Whiskey Cobra' has enhanced avionics and can carry a wider range of weapons than the standard AH-1.

The AH-1W has been in service with the USMC since 1985. 4 Squadrons of Super Cobras accompianed the USMC's push into Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War where they proved highly effective in the anti-armor role. 1 sortie alone resulted in 60 iraqi tanks destroyed.

It's projected that the Super Cobra helicopter will stay in service for another 10 years until it is completely replaced by the AH-1Z (a further set of upgrades to the AH-1, including 5-blade rotors, advanced sensors and countermeasures)

U.S. DoD video produced by Sgt. Jason Fudge | released to public domain

ah1 cobra helicopters
USMC AH-1W super cobra
more Super Cobra photos »

  • 20mm M197 cannon turret with 110 degree field of fire
  • wire-cutting blades postion around the cockpit to deal with the threat of high-tension wires - a real problem at low altitude
  • aluminium bodywork
  • twin engines (a must for operations over water)
  • 2-blade steel/aluminium tail rotors
  • night vision & electronic sensors allow for all-time / all-weather operations

AH-1W Super Cobra Specifications

flir and laser designator
The AH-1W's chin houses the Night Targeting System, Laser Designator and the Forward-Looking InfraRed (FLIR) sensor. The gunner uses this sensor suite to aim and fire the host of anti-tank missiles, rockets and 20mm cannon in a typical AH-1W loadout.
Crew 2 - With Pilot seated above and behind Gunner
Engines 2 1212-kW General Electric T700-GE-401 turboshafts
(1,625hp each)
Dimensions L - 58 ft
W (wingspan) - 10ft 7inches
H - 14ft 2 inches
Weights 4627 kg (empty)
6691 kg (max loudout)
Max Speed 352 kph
Range 395 km
Armament M197 three barrel 20 mm cannon (750 rounds) @ 650 rounds per minute
TOW wire guided missiles
Hellfire laser-guided anti-tank missiles
FFAR rockets
Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
Avionics Night Targeting System (NTS) (FLIR, laser-designator)
AN/APR-39(V)2 Radar Warning Receiver
AN/ALE-39 chaff and flare dispensor

ah1-s cobra helicopter
US Marines AH-1W Super Cobra armed with Hellfire laser-guided missiles and HYDRA rocket pods.
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