Viper deliveries continue in Hawaii
The Marine Corps Air Station at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, received three new upgraded AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters on 19 December.
To be operated by the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, the new helicopters will allow the squadron and Marine Corps Base Hawaii to continue to further project power and reach in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Bell Helicopter AH-1Z aircraft is an updated version of the AH-1W with greater fuel capacity, ordnance capabilities, and situational awareness. The aircraft can carry and deploy 16 Hellfire missiles, effectively doubling the capacity of its predecessor, and has updated avionics systems and sensors.
Sgt Jeremy Ortega, avionics technician with the squadron, said: ‘The new Zulus incorporate systems from the AH-1W and the UH-1Y and essentially combine them. The upgraded turret sight systems create much more in-depth images, which allow pilots to pinpoint targets better and get more descriptive, accurate pictures.
‘Times are changing and things are evolving. It’s time for the AH-1W’s to go to bed. And, the AH-1Z’s are the perfect candidate to replace them.’
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