Military Review

"Vipers", the heir to "Cobra"

16
The family of American rotorcraft "Cobra", previously left the army Aviation, remains to serve in the Marine Corps. The new version of the shock AH-1 is approved and will be adopted.


In the coming decade, these helicopters will be 50 years old. Having completed its first flight in 1967, the hard-working AH-1 Cobra helicopter still remains in service. The US Army has already abandoned it in favor of the more “advanced” AH-64 Apache, while the American marines, who have fallen in love with this car, are putting into service a new modification of it - AH-1Z Viper (“Viper”), also known as Zulu Cobra ( per letter denoting a modification).



Heavier but more effective

The development of the "Vipers", then still bearing the nickname KingCobra, began in 1996, when the Marine Corps adopted a helicopter fleet modernization program. It provided for the replacement of 180 AH-1W SuperCobra helicopters with AH-1Z (with the purchase of new machines or modifications available), and about a hundred of multi-purpose UH-1N helicopters with UH-1Y Venom. The Viper made its first flight in December 2000 of the year and then within ten years it was gradually brought to mind, until finally in December 2010 of the Marines decided to finally put the helicopter into service.

The rotor wing mass has increased significantly (8390 kilograms of maximum take-off weight versus 6690 kilograms of the Supercobra). In many ways, this is why the main constructive difference between the Vipers is the new four-blade composite rotor, replacing the two-blade predecessor, traditional for the Hugh family of machines, has exhausted its ability to keep the Cobra heavier in the air. The tail screw was also four-bladed. Fully transferred to the modern element base avionics: analog flight instruments "Superkobr" gave way to an integrated control system with two multifunctional liquid crystal displays in each cabin.

In terms of tactical capabilities, the Viper differs from the Super Cob by almost three times the increased combat radius (200 kilometers against 70) and increased speed. The composition of the airborne armament itself has hardly changed: the same Hellfire, Hydra, Saydarma and Sidewinders. However, the new sighting system allows you to select targets at distances greater than the radius of the onboard weapons. At the same time, the use of guided missiles has been radically simplified - the Supercob pilots constantly complained about the need to switch to launch the Hellfire about fifty toggle switches in the correct sequence.

"Vipers", the heir to "Cobra"In addition, on the "Vipers" they installed the FLIR infrared front hemisphere infrared system, similar to the one with which AH-64 Apache is equipped. At one time, one of the main claims to the "Superkobram" was the lack of such equipment. Added and helmet-mounted targeting complex Top Owl Corporation Thales, allowing you to perform combat missions in difficult weather conditions, as well as at night.

At the moment, the Marine Corps has already received 11 such helicopters. All in all, by the 2021, the Marine Corps Command plans to have the 189 "Vipers": the 58 new rotary wings plus the 131 AH-1W SuperCobra reequipped and re-equipped machine from those in the ILC. The cost of the entire modernization program of nearly three hundred Super Cob and Hugh, as well as the purchase of new helicopters by marines and the US Navy will exceed 12 billion dollars.

That is characteristic, the principle of production economy is not forgotten. The hull systems, the avionics and the Vip unit propulsion system on the 84 percent are compatible with the already mentioned newest UH-1Y combat support helicopters, which greatly simplifies maintenance.

Need made

The issue of direct aviation support from the ILC is quite acute. It was originally planned to replace part of the retiring AV-2010B Harrier II attack aircraft with the F-8B Lightning II multi-purpose fighter aircraft with a short take-off and landing, by 35. However, delaying the deadlines for the delivery of the fifth generation lightning and the significant increase in the cost of its development actually deprive the US marines of air strikes. The slowness of replacing the Harriers with new cars (cautiously suggesting that it will begin in the 2013 year) imposes an increased load on KMP helicopters.

In this regard, the modernization of the Supercobra to the Vipers, in addition to the obvious increase in the combat capabilities of the helicopter gunships, can be viewed as a palliative way out of the emerging impasse. Increased range, radically revised avionics and integrated weapons control systems will effectively suppress the enemy when the marines come into direct contact with him.

The tendency to wash out from the linear composition of old samples of aviation technology, which is well marked in 90 and 2000-e, paradoxically does not apply to some machines. No alternative, for example, is the bomber B-52. Simple, familiar and reliable "Cobra" also became such a weapon. Having received new “eyes” and “ears”, these rotary-winged helicopters will be quite ready to pass over to the sixth decade-free service.
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  1. avt
    avt 23 March 2013 10: 10
    0
    Need made ----- This is the author correctly noted. Given the ship’s basing conditions, they will keep it for a long time.
    1. Rustam
      Rustam 23 March 2013 11: 01
      +5
      v = AHTOuAXAs6A & feature = player_embedded #!]
      Need made?
      _________________
      What’s the need? They weren’t forced to do anything — they just modernize and improve their personal attack helicopter in step with the times in order to be ahead of their opponents, and this modernization and the purchase of new machines do not apply to problems with the F-35! each program lives its own life - there is also a helicopter here (I would understand if you said that need forced to order another hundred new F-18 HORNET)

      Cobras began their journey back in Vietnam as far back as 1967 (by the way, seeing the successful use of data and other helicopters in the USSR, the development of its attack helicopters accelerated; later we got the MI-24 family)

      but the latest version, which has been going on since 2010, goes off with a bang to the US Marine Corps, COBRA appeared in Iraq and Afghanistan, sweeping away everything in its path


      By the way, the Airborne Forces and Shamans dream of their helicopter aircraft and want to have a Ka-50 and Ka-52 do not give a bastard (when the Airborne Forces or the Marpekhs have their own helicopters, I will be happy

      Cobras as an integral part of the US Marine Corps (but this is in my opinion)

      PS- an interesting fact. The second operator in the world of American cobras is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which from 1972-1977 supplied 202 units of the AH-1J version.

      pictured are the latest Cobras of the US Marine Corps
      1. Rustam
        Rustam 23 March 2013 15: 09
        0
        By the way, here's an interesting Iranian cobras lower is modernization on their own - no one stands still
      2. Rustam
        Rustam 23 March 2013 15: 13
        0
        ] By the way, here’s the interesting thing about the lower Iranian cobras: it’s already modernization on their own - no one stands still [
    2. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg 23 March 2013 14: 10
      +2
      Just a car is a masterpiece. She still fly and fly.
  2. Yeraz
    Yeraz 23 March 2013 10: 47
    +5
    Mdaa increase in radius from 70 to 200 is impressive.
  3. Rustam
    Rustam 23 March 2013 10: 48
    0
    [media = http: //www.youtube.com/watch? v = AHTOuAXAs6A & feature = player_embedded #!] Cobras started their journey back in Vietnam already in 1967 (yes, by the way, seeing the successful use of data and other helicopters in the USSR, it accelerated the development of its attack helicopters later we got the MI-24 family)

    but the latest version, which has been going on since 2010, goes off with a bang to the US Marine Corps, COBRA appeared in Iraq and Afghanistan, sweeping away everything in its path


    By the way, the Airborne Forces and Shamans dream of their helicopter aircraft and want to have a Ka-50 and Ka-52 do not give a bastard

    A good video of using American cobras - after all, there is something beautiful in it (but this is in my opinion)

    PS- an interesting fact. The second operator in the world of American cobras is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which from 1972-1977 supplied 202 units of the AH-1J version.

    pictured are the latest Cobras of the US Marine Corps (clickable)
  4. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya 23 March 2013 12: 36
    +1
    Quote: avt
    Need made ----- This is the author correctly noted. Given the ship’s basing conditions, they will keep it for a long time.

    Well, to invent a new one, money is needed!
    1. avt
      avt 23 March 2013 18: 45
      +1
      Quote: Prapor Afonya
      Well, to invent a new one, money is needed!

      And they went on a variant from good not looking for good. For the deck, the dimensions are more than acceptable, there is the potential for modernization, so they did not start a new one. The car is old, based on the Iroquois, time-tested, well, not Apache to put on the deck.
  5. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya 23 March 2013 12: 43
    +1
    Quote: Rustam
    v = AHTOuAXAs6A & feature = player_embedded #!
    _________________

    By the way, the Airborne Forces and Shamans dream of their helicopter aircraft and want to have a Ka-50 and Ka-52 do not give a bastard (when the Airborne Forces or the Marpekhs have their own helicopters, I will be happy

    It would be right to return the BTA to the Airborne Forces or part of it, so that it would report directly to the Airborne Forces Commander, and not go through adjustments between the troops, and also cover helicopters there too. That is, to create airborne aviation units, consisting of squadrons of delivery of l / s, and support squadrons reporting directly to the commander of the airborne forces!
    1. avt
      avt 24 March 2013 09: 06
      0
      Quote: Prapor Afonya
      It would be correct to return the VTA to the Airborne Forces or part of it,

      Well WTA is too much. But the presence of helicopters, both attack and transport, especially for shrume parts, yes, just an urgent need. But it seems to me they will not give it, firstly, there are just few helicopters, and secondly, they will be afraid of political gains, there will always be a little thought in my head, and will they not learn something?
  6. pooop
    pooop 23 March 2013 13: 35
    +2
    dragonfly reminds)
  7. Avenger711
    Avenger711 23 March 2013 13: 51
    0
    Need is when a new projected fails, but this was not the case here. It was only our boobies who did the devil knows what at first, and now they are replacing him, while the amers and the Cobra also have the Apache, which is not planned to be replaced by our "devil-knows-what" just a few years younger.
    1. Sirocco
      Sirocco 23 March 2013 14: 29
      +4
      Quote: Avenger711
      It’s only our boobies first made the hell knows that,

      Dear you are our avenger, Our devil knows that, not such a bad technique. And in many ways, individual products are superior to analogues of the adversary. Many years ago I read reviews about the KA 50, it already surpassed similar Western counterparts 20 years ago, they wrote about it that in the USA it’s only in the movies (the film Blue Thunder) that flies at the training ground. Well, the fact that MS Gorbachev came to power, and buried many projects, such as Fin, Lira, and much more, who should be blamed? All this 30-year OVERLOAD from Western partners destroyed all the heavy and light industry, we must thank those who retained at least something, and from this SOMETHING restore their former power. It got to the point that some of our opponents prove with foam at the mouth that Mi 24 is the development of Azerbaijan with Mi 35 in mind. (((
  8. Andrey77
    Andrey77 23 March 2013 16: 04
    +1
    The United States Marine Corps would be happy to order new helicopters - but there is no money. Therefore, they choose the best of what is. Like a fire support helicopter - very much so.
  9. Stoik
    Stoik 23 March 2013 17: 27
    +1
    Great Amer attack helicopters! Perhaps the best in the world! It is unfortunate that we, in the presence of two design bureaus, do not have a specialized attack helicopter!
  10. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya 23 March 2013 17: 29
    +1
    Quote: Avenger711
    Need is when a new projected fails, but this was not the case here. It was only our boobies who did the devil knows what at first, and now they are replacing him, while the amers and the Cobra also have the Apache, which is not planned to be replaced by our "devil-knows-what" just a few years younger.

    Damn you know what, are you talking about the Ka-50? If so, I don’t know what to call you an America lover.
  11. Algor73
    Algor73 23 March 2013 23: 14
    +1
    Of course, you have to be a patriot. But we must pay tribute to "Cobra" and "Viper". In my opinion, the superiority of a helicopter is more than 90% dependent on the pilot. And the Americans do not differ in heroism, except that when they are cornered and there is simply no way out ...
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn 24 March 2013 08: 33
      +3
      Are you stereotypes of your scumbag ... Look at what is going on in schools especially Sandy hook, there the teachers tried to stop the armed madman by literally covering their children with their bodies, and you say cowards, by the way, Sandy Hook is not the only example, but underestimating the enemy (В features of his morale) guarantee of defeat.
      1. Algor73
        Algor73 24 March 2013 12: 05
        0
        You rightly said - "the armed madman". But the main thing that Americans do not have is selfless patriotism - knowing that he will not receive anything for his feat, the American will not go for that feat. And I always adhere to the principle that it is better to overestimate the enemy than to underestimate
  12. Conepatus
    Conepatus 25 March 2013 02: 24
    -1
    It has been in service for so long only because the Apache is not suitable for the ILC in terms of its mass and dimensions. But it comes out cheaply and angrily. They change electronics every 5 years and are happy. Not with Russia, they are not fighting, but against the Arabs and Papuans and There are many models of equipment with a similar fate in the world. Developing a new one is expensive, and there is no sense in it. The leading tank-building countries (Russia, Germany, the USA) could have a new generation of tanks for a long time, but they are in no hurry. The new generation is simply it makes no sense at this stage of time. That's when the air smells like a "big nix", that's when mass stamping will begin, but for now the old people are coping .. IMHO
    1. Lieutenant colonel
      Lieutenant colonel 25 March 2013 08: 16
      +1
      When the air "smells like a big nix" will be oh how late. And "start production" without having it, how can you? The production cycle of the MiG-29, if I am not mistaken, is 45 days (such data were given at the academy, provided that the suppliers and the enterprise worked stable). The T-80 tank is produced a little faster - 30 days. The average life of a tank on the battlefield, in modern warfare with a regular army, is from 6 to 15 minutes. Well, then simple mathematics. The stock of weapons is done in myron time. And the more perfect it is (at a later date it was modernized), the better for its troops. We really need a helicopter like Huey and Cobra and then we could talk about real mobility of troops. And, of course, we need airborne forces and the Marine Corps, both transport and direct fire support.