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Bell Helicopter AH-1Z "Viper"

Attack Helicopter

A Legend Reborn for the Modern Battlefield.

The AH-1Z 'Viper' is the latest incarnation of a line of dedicated attack helicopters that began with the original single-engined AH-1 'HueyCobra' series back in the 1960s and a direct offshoot of the twin-engined AH-1 'SuperCobra' design. The Viper was specifically developed to satisfy a United States Marine Corps (USMC) requirement and continues in the role of anti-tank/Close-Air Support (CAS) for the service. The newer offering brings enhanced crew survivability, broadened weapons support, and improved interoperability. First flown in December of 2000 and formally introduced in September of 2010, the AH-1Z has seen 62 production vehicles delivered with operators in the United States, Bahrain, Pakistan and - most recently - the Czech Republic.
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Mission Roles

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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.
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Image from the U.S. DoD DVIDS imagery database; Public Release.


Two Heads Prevail

Since its inception, the Cobra helicopter series has relied on two operators - a pilot and weapons officer. This spreads out the workload while also enhancing survivability through heightened situational awareness.

Broad Weapons Support

In addition to its inherent, chin-mounted, trainable 20mm automatic cannon, the Viper helicopter can field all current in-service American munitions and weaponry. This means the right tool for the target by way of rockets (guided and unguided), missions, and special systems pods.

Twin Engine Power

The twin-engine makeup of the Venom helicopter means excellent performance in-flight as well as added survivability in contested zones where the attack platform is sure to operate.

Where Others Dare Not Go

Marines are bred to go where other services dare not. This means taking the fight to the enemy from ship-to-shore and the AH-1Z product has an inherent ability to operate over sea and land - giving it excellent versatility in a combat zone.


Active, In-Service (14 yrs)
Bell Helicopter - USA
62 Units
4 Total

National flag graphic of BahrainNational flag graphic of CzechiaNational flag graphic of PakistanNational flag graphic of the United States

Bahrain; Czech Republic; Pakistan; United States

(List includes former, current, and potential operating nations)
AH-1Z: 2 x General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines developing 1,800 horsepower each driving a four-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor (facing port side).

(Assuming optimal flying/environmental conditions)
Maximum Speed
255 mph | 410 kph | 221 kts
Cruising Speed
183 mph | 295 kph | 159 kts
Service Ceiling
20,341 ft | 6,200 m | 3.85 miles
Operational Range
426 miles | 685 km | 370 nm
2,800 ft/min | 853 m/min
(Showcased performance statistics pertain to the AH-1Z production model)
58.40 feet (17.80 meters)
47.57 feet (14.50 meters)
14.34 feet (4.37 meters)
(Showcased measurements pertain to the AH-1Z production model)
12,346 lb (5,600 kg)
18,519 lb (8,400 kg)
(Showcased weights pertain to the AH-1Z production model)
1 x 20mm M186 three-barreled Gatling-style automatic cannon in powered chin turret (trainable function). This weapon is afforded 750 x 20mm projectiles.

Weapons support across four underwing hardpoints (wingstubs), two underwing stations per wing member. Wingtip mounts also supported:

7-/19-shot 2.75" (70mm) Hydra 70 OR APKWS II ('Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System') series rocket pods (up to 76 unguided or 28 guided rockets total).
AGM-114 'Hellfire' Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) held in quadruple launchers (up to sixteen missiles total).

2 x AIM-9 'Sidewinder' short-ranged, Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs) on wingtip mounts (primarily for self-defense). Supported Types:

Automatic Cannon graphic Automatic Cannon(s)
Air-to-Surface Missile graphic Air-to-Surface Missiles
Attack Rocket graphic Rockets / Rocket Pods
Additional Fuel Tank graphic Additional Fuel
AH-1Z 'Viper' - Base Series Designation.

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