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AH-1 Super Cobra
The AH-1 is an American attack helicopter, developed by the American company Bell Helicopter in 1966. There have been manufactured 1100 heli's for the US Marines Corps.
The AH-1 was design and manufactured due to a requirement of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) for a new attack helicopter for close air support and as an escort by ground operations. Such kind of support is necessary by amphibious exercises and operations. The Cobra was developed for close air support, anti-tank, armored surveillance and air-to-air combats. The Cobra can also be armored with TOW wire-guided air-to-surface missiles. The Cobra is often seen in American war movies.
The Cobra can be equipped with: 1x 20mm canon (750 rounds a minute), 4 external wing rocket systems of 2.75 inch/5.0 inch which have a broad capacity of precision guided missiles like TOW and Hellfire anti-tank missiles. It can also be armored with Sidewinder (air-to-air missile) and the Sidearm (against enemy radar).
- On November 2nd, 2005 a AH-1W Cobra from the USMC crashed near the Iraqi city Ramadi. 2 Marines died. The crew members were assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
The AH-1 is in service with the United States Marine Corps (1), Turkey (2) Taiwan (3) Israel (4), Jordan (5), South-Korea (6) and Pakistan (7).
The Turkish Army is equipped with:
- 9 AH-1W Super Cobra's
- 32 AH-1P/S Cobra's
The Army of Taiwan has 63 AH-1W Super Cobra's divided over 2 squadrons.
Since 1984, the Army of Pakistan has 20 AH-1F Cobra's. These can be equipped with TOW and TOW-II air-to-ground missiles, 2.75 inch rocket pods and the M197 3-barrel 20mm board canon. In 2007 , 16 AH-1F heli's were added as part of a 5-year delivery of 40 extra Cobra's. All heli's can be used at night thanks to their night vision goggle system. The heli's are also equipped with a infra-red electronic protection system against IR-missiles.
The cold air is mixed with the gas of the exhaust to decrease the Temperature (and noise) to be less vulnerable against enemy heat-seeking missiles.
The Pakistan cobra's are used in the region with the border of Afghanistan for operations against militias. They are a deadly and effective weapon but also vulnerable for hand-portable surface-to-air missile like the Stingers which were left in Afghanistan after the war against the Soviet Union.
As a possible replacer, the A-129 Mangusta, AH-1Z, Mi-28 Havoc are favorites.
|Last updated: October 21, 2012|