Part of the H-1 upgrade program
the twin engine AH-1Z ( Bell 449
) was developed from the AH-1W Super Cobra as the new US Marines's attack helicopter. It features a four-blade composite main rotor system, uprated transmission and a new target sighting system.
First flew on December 7, 2000 at Bell Helicopter Textron facility in Arlington, Texas.
On September 2010 was declared combat-ready.
On February 2014 was delivered the 37th and last AH-1W remanufactured to the new Zulu configuration. 152 new-build airframes are expected by 2022