Bell AH-1 Z Viper combat helicopter.
The Bell AH-1 Z Viper is a combat and attack helicopter. It is a relatively new design and already proven in combat. The Bell AH-1 Z Viper helicopter was designed and manufactured by Bell Helicopter Textron. The helicopter made its first flight on December 8, 2000. The helicopter crew consists of two officers. The helicopter is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines, with a power of 2 x 1,340 kW.
Description of the photo: Since the Czech Republic bought the Bell AH-1 Z Viper helicopters, the helicopter could be seen at the NATO Day event in Ostrava in 2021.
The Bell AH-1 Z Viper and Bell UH-1 Y Venom helicopters have many common elements, which reduces production and operating costs. Both helicopters share the tail boom, engines, rotor system, control, avionics, software and maintenance. A total of 84% of the components of both helicopters are identical.
The Bell AH-1 Z Viper is generally based on the AH-1 W Super Cobra helicopter. The helicopter is also called "Zulu Cobra", based on the pronunciation of its variant letter in the military phonetic alphabet. The soldiers of the United States Marine Corps commonly call the helicopter "Cobra".
On September 30, 2010, the USMC announced that the AH-1 Z Viper helicopter had reached combat readiness and completely replaced the previous AH-1 W Super Cobra by 2020. Internationally, the Bell AH-1 Z Viper helicopter competes with the Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter.
The Bell AH-1 Z Viper helicopter was put into service with: Pakistan (12), Bahrain (12), Czech - Vzdušné Síly Armády České Republiky (4). In total, over 229 copies were built.
Currently (2022), the Polish Army is considering the purchase of Bell AH-1 Z Viper helicopters. Therefore, in 2022, during the XXX International Defense Industry Exhibition in Kielce, the Bell AH-1 Z Viper and Bell UH-1 Y Venom helicopters were presented. The Americans indicate that the Bell AH-1 Z Viper helicopter is the only one that successfully fights air targets such as fighter planes using air-to-air guided missiles. The helicopter can operate jointly with Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft. The Polish Ministry of Defense says that the Bell AH-1 Z Viper is the second, next to the Boeing AH-64 E Apache, American combat platform considered as an armament for the Polish Army.
Weapons of the Bell AH-1 Z Viper:
The helicopter has one 20mm M-197 cannon. The snow gun is propelled and three-barreled. The stock of ammunition is 750 rounds. The helicopter has 6 attachments for arming with missiles; Hydra 70, AIM-9 Sidewinder, AGM-114 Hellfire. Various weapon configurations are possible; guided missiles, unguided missiles, bombs, barrels.
Data T-T Bell AH-1 Z Viper:
Main rotor diameter 48 ft (15 m). Helicopter length 58 ft 3 in (17.75 m). Hull length 13.62 m. Height 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m). Curb weight 12,300 lb (5,579 kg). Gross weight is 18,500 lb (8,391 kg). Maximum speed of 160 kn (180 mph, 300 km / h). Cruising speed 257 km / h. Rate of climb 2,790 ft / min (14.2 m / s). Service ceiling 6,096 meters. Range 370 nm (430 mi, 690 km). Flight duration 4.50 hours.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman