The latest version of US Marine Corps attack helicopter AH-1Z Zulu ready for combat mission 1906112
Defense News - United States
Sunday, June 19, 2011, 09:17 AM
The latest version of US Marine Corps attack helicopter AH-1Z Zulu ready for combat mission.
The latest version of U.S. Marine Corps attack helicopter AH-1Z Zulu will be ready to be deploy for its first combat mission at the end of 2011. Bell Helicopter Company , a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced March 14, 2011, that the U.S. Marine Corps' newest attack helicopter, the AH-1Z Cobra, achieved Initial Operating Capability ahead of schedule in February, 2011.
Latest version of combat helicopter for US Marine Corp AH-1Z Zulu
The U.S. Marine Corps is replacing the two-bladed AH-1W with the AH-1Z Zulu, which features a new, four-bladed composite rotor system, performance-matched transmission, four-bladed tail rotor, two additional wing stores stations on larger stub wings, upgraded landing gear and a fully integrated glass cockpit. The AH-1Z will see a 120% increase mission radius with attack payload over the AH-1W.
As part of the H-1 Upgrade Program, the AH-1Z Zulu replaces the currently fielded AH-1W. The AH-1Z Zulu will serve a primary role in assault support, offensive air support and air reconnaissance. The Zulu will play a supporting role in anti-air warfare, electronic warfare, and control of aircraft and missiles.
The AH-1Z Zulu will serve a primary role in assault support, offensive air support and air reconnaissance.
The H-1 Upgrade Program offers 84 percent commonality of major component parts between the AH-1Z Zulu and UH-1Y utility helicopters. This commonality reduces lifecycle and training costs and decreases the expeditionary logistics footprint for both aircraft.
The new Zulus feature 10,000 flight-hour airframes, a new four-bladed rotor system with semi-automatic blade fold of the new composite rotor blades, new performance matched transmissions, a new four-bladed tail rotor and drive system, upgraded landing gear, and pylon structural modifications. This will help the new Zulu to achieve a 39% increase in HOGE useful load over its predecessor. The Zulu also incorporates modernized, fully integrated cockpits/avionics that will reduce operator work load while improving situational awareness while being able to carry 32% more fuel.
The AH-1Z Zulu is equipped with two General Electric T700-GE-401 series engines and greatly increased lift capability and stores capacity, giving it a significantly greater ordnance payload for future growth potential. The primary weapon system is the Hellfire missile. It is fully shipboard compatible, and capable of operating from prepared or unprepared landing sites, day or night.