November 21, 2000
First AH-1Z rolled out
ARLINGTON, Texas, USA ( Bell Helicopter Textron Company Press Release ) - The Marine Corps newest attack helicopter, the AH-1Z was rolled out
Monday, November 20, 2000, in a ceremony at Bell Helicopter Textron's
Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
The AH-1Z is the world's most advanced attack helicopter and is part of
the H-1 Upgrade Program. This program will remanufacture 100 UH-1N
transport helicopters and 180 AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters to an
advanced configuration featuring common engines and flight dynamic
The H-1 Upgrade Program will result in 280 new aircraft for the US
Marine Corps to operate beyond 2020. These will have "zero-time"
airframes remanufactured with the latest technology. The speed, range,
maneuverability and lift capability of both aircraft will be dramatically
improved. The savings in maintenance training, ground handling, support
equipment, and spare parts inventories add up to billions of dollars over
the life of the program.
Current advanced technology will provide the H-1 Fleet with
increased battlefield survivability and greater mission success with fewer
combat losses. In addition the crashworthiness of both the UH-1Y and the
AH-1Z is significantly enhanced.
Some of the upgrades include an enormous amount of commonality between the
two aircraft (more than 85 percent). This includes the state of the art
common glass cockpit, the GE-T700 engines, four blade all composite,
hingeless, bearingless main rotor system and tail rotor, identical drive
trains, hydraulics and electrical distribution systems.
By utilizing common systems the cost of the logistics support process for
the two helicopters will be dramatically reduced and will allow for vastly
improved shipboard operability. Far less critical shipboard space will be
needed to store spare parts and support equipment to support the two
Litton Guidance and Controls is on the H-1 Team as the supplier of the
Integrated Avionics System (IAS). Litton will integrate and provide
equipment such as the color multi-function displays, mission and weapons
computers, advanced communication and navigation equipment, and all of the
software that makes these units function with each other automatically.
This integrated system will take a lot of the workload off the crew and
let them concentrate on safely flying the aircraft and fighting the enemy.
First flight of the AH-1Z is scheduled for December 2000, with the
UH-1Y first flight scheduled for 2001. Deliveries to the US Marine Corps
will begin in 2004.
AH-1Z Super Cobra