The AH-1Z Viper gunship is based on the AH-1W Super Cobra. This helicopter is used by the US Marine Corps. It follows the line of the AH-1 Cobra, which was the world first dedicated attack helicopter. The Viper was introduced in 2010 and full-rate production began in 2012.
The AH-1Z Viper has new engines, new rotor, uprated transmission upgraded avionics and new target sighting system. Upgraded helicopters have improved flight characteristics. This helicopter is fitted with infrared suppression system, which covers exhausts.
The Viper is armed with a 20-mm three-barrel cannon. It can carry up to 16 Hellfire anti-tank guided missiles. It can also carry pods with unguided rockets and two Sidewinder fire-and-forget air-to-air missiles.
No aircraft defines the role of close air support better than the Marine AH-1 Super Cobra/Viper. Whether it's providing cover for advancing ground forces or escorting assault support helicopters en route to a landing zone, the AH-1Z is called on when Marines need firepower from the air.
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