AH-1 SuperCobra! The Bell AH-1 SuperCobra is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the US Army's AH-1 Cobra. The twin Cobra family includes the AH-1J SeaCobra, the AH-1T Improved SeaCobra, and the AH-1W SuperCobra. The AH-1W is the backbone of the United States Marine Corps's attack helicopter fleet, but will be replaced in service by the AH-1Z Viper upgrade in the next decade. The AH-1 Cobra was developed in the mid-1960s as an interim gunship for the U.S. Army for use in Vietnam. The Cobra shared the proven transmission, rotor system, and the T53 turboshaft engine of the UH-1 "Huey".
In 1971 Iran purchased 202 improved AH-IJ Cobra gunships from the United States. This improved Cobra, known as the AH-1J International, resulted from this contract featured an uprated P&WC T400-WV-402 engine and stronger drivetrain. Recoil damping gear was fitted to the 20mm gun turret, and the gunner was given a stabilized sight and even a stabilized chair. 62 of the International AH-1Js delivered to the Shah's forces were TOW-capable, while the rest were not.
They participated in the Iran–Iraq War. Iranian AH-1J SeaCobras engaged in air combat with Iraqi Mi-24s on several separate occasions during the war. The results of these engagements are disputed. One document cited that "Iranian AH-1Js engaged Iraqi MI-8 Hip and MI-24 Hind helicopters. Unclassified sources report that the Iranian AH-1 pilots achieved a 10:1 kill ratio over the Iraqi helicopter pilots during these engagements (1:5). Additionally, Iranian AH-1 and Iraqi fixed wing aircraft engagements also occurred. Others claim that in the entire eight-year conflict, ten Iranian AH-1Js were lost in combat, compared to six Iraqi Mi-24s. The skirmishes are described as fairly evenly matched in another source. Iranian AH-1Js are still operating today and have undergone indigenous upgrade programs. In 1988, two Soviet MiG-23s shot down a pair of Iranian AH-1Js that had strayed into western Afghan airspace.
In: Iraq, Iran, Other
Tags: AH-1 SuperCobra, AH1, SuperCobra, Cobra, Attack Helicopter, Bell, Huey, AH-1G Cobra, US Marine Corp, Vulcan Cannon, Hellfire, Sidewinder, Ground Attack, Vietnam, Iran-Iraq war, Operation Enduring Freedom, Desert Storm
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