Top 10 Battlefield Helicopters

4. AH-1 Cobra

The AH-1 Cobra is a two-bladed, single engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell. It shares a common engine, transmission and rotorsystem with the older UH-1 Iroquois. The AH-1 is also referred to as the HueyCobra orSnake.

The AH-1 was the backbone of the United States Army’s attack helicopter fleet, but has been replaced by the AH-64 Apache in Army service. Upgraded versions continue to fly with the militaries of several other nations. The AH-1 twin engine versions remain in service with United States Marine Corps as the service’s primary attack helicopter. Surplus AH-1 helicopters have been converted for fighting forest fires. The United States Forest Service refers to their program as the Firewatch Cobra. Garlick Helicopters also converts surplus AH-1s for forest firefighting under the name, FireSnake.

Specifications:

  • Crew: 2 – one pilot, one CPG (co-pilot/gunner)
  • Length: 13.4 m
  • Rotor diameter: 13.4 m
  • Height: 4.1 m
  • Empty weight: 2,754 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,309 kg
  • Powerplant: 1× Lycoming T53-L-13 turboshaft, 1,100 shp (820 kW)
  • Rotor system: 2 blades on main rotor
  • Maximum speed: 190 knots (219 mph, 352 km/h)
  • Range: 310 nmi (357 mi, 574 km)
  • Service ceiling: 3,475 m
  • Rate of climb: 6.25 m/s

Armament

  • 2 × 7.62 mm (0.308 in) multi-barrel Miniguns, or 2 × M129 40 mm Grenade launchers, or one of each, in the M28 turret. (When one of each was mounted, the minigun was mounted on the right side of the turret, due to feeding problems.)
  • 2.75 in (70 mm) rockets – 7 rockets mounted in the M158 launcher or 19 rockets in the M200 launcher
  • M18 7.62 mm Minigun pod or XM35 armament subsystem with XM195 20 mm cannon

AH-1F “Modernized” Cobra Specifications:

  • Crew: 2 – one pilot, one CPG (co-pilot/gunner)
  • Length: 13.6 m
  • Rotor diameter: 13.6 m
  • Height: 4.1 m
  • Empty weight: 2,993 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 4,500 kg
  • Powerplant: 1× Lycoming T53-L-703 turboshaft, 1,800 shp (1,300 kW)
  • Rotor system: 2 blades on main rotor
  • Maximum speed: 149 knots (172 mph, 277 km/h)
  • Range: 274 nmi (315 mi, 510 km)
  • Service ceiling: 12,200 ft (3,720 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,620 ft/min (8.2 m/s)

Armament

  • M197 3-barreled 20 mm “Gatling-style” cannon
  • Hydra 70 2.75 in (70 mm) rockets – 7 rockets mounted in the M260 launcher or 19 rockets in the M261 launcher
  • TOW Missiles – 4 or 8 missiles mounted in two-missile launchers on each hardpoint