Shaping the Future of Flight: Four Key Innovations of the Bell AH-1Z Viper

Revolutionizing the future of principal attack helicopters for decades

U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper pilots, Capt. Brendan O’Donnel and Capt. Gavin Wezinsky land at a forward arming and refueling point during Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at Stoval Airfield, Dateland, Arizona | Photo by: Sgt. Alexander Sturdivant

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is the only attack helicopter in the world with fully integrated air-to-air missile (AAM) capabilities. Uniquely equipped with six weapon stations, the Viper can carry a diverse weapons load, ranging from AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM), and a variety of laser-guided and conventional rockets. It is also equipped with a 20mm cannon. With AAM and JAGM assets, the Viper gives warfighters the lethal airborne advantage with operational flexibility needed in diverse terrain and missions.

Lethal Aerial Reconnaissance

The AH-1Z sees you before you see it. The Target Sight System (TSS) allows operators to distinguish friend from foe at standoff range. Rain or shine, day or night – the third-generation TSS, coupled with the Optimized Top Owl Helmet Mounted Display System, provides essential long range target identification and accuracy for lethal strike capabilities at an optimal standoff range.

As the only marinized attack helicopter, at the point of manufacture, engineered to withstand the world’s harshest maritime environments, the AH-1Z was purpose-built to meet U.S. Marine Corps specifications to ensure mission success during shipboard operations.

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Angus Moss directs an AH-1Z Viper on the flight deck of USS San Diego | Photo by: PO3 Justin Schoenberger

Versatile Mission Readiness

Challenging missions have met their match with the Viper. With 85% component capability with the Bell UH-1Y, moving between aircraft is as seamless as ever. The H-1 line delivers reduced maintenance, training costs, and supply efforts to support a mixed fleet of aircraft, all while being multi-mission capable.

A U.S Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter prepares to land beside a U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper helicopter on the flight deck of the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 | Photo by: CDR Matthew Lyall

To learn more about the AH-1Z Viper’s advanced capabilities and the latest news, click here.

The views expressed are that of Bell and do not imply or constitute U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) endorsement.

NAVAIR Public Release 2023-447. Distribution Statement A – “Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited”


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