YouTube – AH-1Z Viper
GE T700 turbines
2 x 1,800 shp ea.
58 ft. 3 in.
14 ft. 4 in.
The AH-1Z Viper is the latest variant in a line of attack helicopters dating back to the Vietnam War. The Viper helicopter is used by the USMC for close support and precision anti-armor strikes.
Helicopters like the AH-1Z Viper continue to be among the most capable used by the USMC today. They can reach out with cannon, rockets, and laser guided missiles to stop the enemy in its tracks.
With its ability to maneuver in tight spaces, and with its variety of ordnance at the ready, the AH-1Z Viper is the Marines best friend.
Like its predecessors, the AH1Z Viper is designed for extreme maneuverability flight just off the ground, among trees, bushes, and sand dunes, where it can lurk undetected until its time for action.
In addition to taking out enemy armor, the AH-1Z Viper can also be used in an escort role, accompanying assault helicopters. The Viper helicopter has the ability to be quickly replenished so as to get back into action in minimal time.
The pilot and co-pilot of the Ah-1Z Viper work together as a team. The pilot is in the rear cockpit, perched high to look over the co-pilot in the front seat. The co-pilot has a commanding view of the battlefield, and can use the helicopter’s infrared sensors and target sighting systems.
Avionics of the AH1Z Viper include dual redundant computer systems with multiple displays of helicopter functions for both the pilot and co-pilot. A GPS system provides for pin point mission control, and allows for more accurate aiming of ordnance.
The AH-1Z Viper has two engines driving a non articulated, non-hinged, four blade main rotor. Each blade in the rotor system of the AH-1Z helicopter is independently controlled in all movements. The vibration dampening system used instead of hinges gives faster, more precise response to inputs while producing far less vibrations than with a conventional system. The rotor system has only about 1/4 the parts of the former system.
Bell Textron is currently upgrading older model helicopters to the AH-1Z Viper configuration, improving their performance and extending their service lives.
On February 20, 2018 it was announced that Bell was awarded US$37.6 million for long lead time parts to complete an additional 16 AH-1Z Viper helicopters.
February 11, 2019: Bahrain has ordered sixteen AH-1Z Viper helicopters from Bell Helicopter for US$240.3 million. Deliveries are expected to be completed by August of 2022.
June 3, 2019: General Dynamics received a US$7.5 million order for 37 cannon turret control and ammunition handling systems for U.S. and Bahrain AH-1Z Vipers helicopters. The cannon can be used against both air and ground targets. Work is expected to be finished by January of 2022.
Dec. 19, 2019: The U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support awarded Bell Textron US$815,000,040 for “an indefinite-delivery, performance-based logistics requirements contract for the repair, upgrade or replacement of 35 items used on the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y helicopters, along with inventory management, warehousing and establishing supply response time metrics. Estimated completion is December of 2024.
Over sixty AH-!Z Viper helicopters have been built to date.