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AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom Helicopters

 
Description
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) replaced the two-bladed AH-1W Super Cobra with the AH-1Z Viper, which features a new, four-bladed composite rotor system, performance-matched transmission, four-bladed tail rotor, upgraded landing gear and a fully integrated glass cockpit. The AH-1Z is equipped with an integrated advanced fire control system and the capacity to support multiple weapons configurations.

The UH-1Y Venom replaced the UH-1N Huey and includes the latest in technology and production techniques to continue the legacy of the venerable and battle-proven H-1 helicopter design. The UH-1Y includes a new four-bladed, all-composite and ballistically tolerant (up to 23 mm) rotor system, new engines and transmissions, integrated digital cockpit featuring multifunction flat panel displays, increased payload capabilities, and crash-worthy seating for all crew and passengers. The UH-1Y Venom platform also provides significantly increased load carrying ability, greater range and survivability, and has a smaller logistics footprint.

Additionally, the AH-1Z and UH-1Y share 85 percent parts commonality, designed to significantly reduce life-cycle costs and the aircraft's logistical footprint, while increasing the maintainability and deployability.

Mission
The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter provides rotary wing close air support, anti-armor, anti-air, armed escort, armed/visual reconnaissance and fire support coordination capabilities under day/night and adverse weather conditions for the USMC.

The UH-1Y Venom multi-role utility helicopter is equipped with a wide range of weapons and mission support configurations to also perform close air support missions, along with combat assault support, search and rescue/causality evacuation, armed escort/reconnaissance, command and control, and special operation support. UH-1Y Venom is the USMC's premier utility platform.

 
Background
Since 1956, more than 16,000 aircraft have been produced as part of the H-1 family of helicopters, popularly known as the Huey and Cobra. Originating from a 1955 U.S. Army contract for a medical evacuation helicopter, the first Navy/Marine Corps Iroquois variant, the UH-1E, was first procured in 1964.

In 1996, the USMC launched the H-1 upgrade program. The UH-1Y Venom replaced UH-1Ns and the AH-1Z Viper replaced the AH-1W.

Full rate production for the UH-1Y started in 2009. The Marine Corps purchased 160 Y-models. The final UH-1Ys were delivered in April 2018.

Bell was awarded the contract for Lot 16 in early 2019 to complete the production of the AH-1Z. Once production is completed the Marine Corps will have 189 AH-1Zs. Final delivery is expected in early 2021.

The AH-1Z Vipers and UH-1Y Venoms are fielded in Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadrons, or HMLAs, along with the remaining few AH-1W Super Cobras. Detachments from the HMLAs are deployed as part of Marine Expeditionary Units to support ship-based amphibious exercises and operations.

 
Service
Navy and Marine Corps
 
Point Of Contact
Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs Department
47123 Buse Road, Unit IPT
Bldg. 2272, Suite 075
Patuxent River, MD 20670-5440

U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters
Division of Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20380-1775
 
General Characteristics, AH-1Z Viper
Primary Function: Attack helicopter
Contractor: Bell Helicopter Company
Date Deployed: Initial operating capability 2011
Propulsion: Two General Electric T-700-GE-401C Turboshaft engines, 1,800 shp (1,340 kW) each
Length: 58 feet, 3 inches (17.75 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 4 inches (4.37 meters)
Rotor Diameter: 48 feet (14.6 meters)
Weight: Empty: 12,300 pounds (5,580 kg); Maximum Takeoff Weight: 18,500 pounds (8,390 kg)
Airspeed: Max speed 200 knots; cruising speed 142 knots
Ceiling: 20,000 feet (6,096 meters)
Range: 125 nautical miles (231.5 km)
Crew: Two; pilot, co-pilot/gunner
 
General Characteristics, UH-1Y Venom
Primary Function: Utility helicopter
Contractor: Bell Helicopter Company
Date Deployed: Initial operating capability 2008
Propulsion: Two General Electric T-700-GE-401C Turboshaft engines, 1,800 shp (1,340 kW) each
Length: 58 feet, 4 inches (17.78 meters)
Height: 14 feet, 7 inches (4.5 meters)
Rotor Diameter: 48 feet, 10 inches (14.88 meters)
Weight: Empty: 11,840 pounds (5,370 kg); Maximum Takeoff Weight: 18,500 pounds (8,390 kg)
Airspeed: Max speed 164 knots; cruising speed 135 knots
Ceiling: 20,000 feet (6,096 meters)
Range: 129 nautical miles (238.9 km)
Crew: Twelve; pilot and co-pilot, one crew chief, one gunner and eight combat-equipped Marines
 
Last Update: 29 June 2020
 
 

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