BELL MODEL 209 HUEY COBRA
US Army designations: AH-1E, AH-1F, AH-1P, AH-1S and TH-1S Israeli designation:
Two-seat close support and attack helicopter.
AH-1S first ordered as TOW-capable version of AH-1G in 1975; programme included
conversion of earlier AH-1Gs and three-stage production of new aircraft with
various degrees of upgrading; all versions designated AH-1S until March 1987,
when new-build AH-1s allotted dormant UH-1 Iroquois suffixes AH-1P, AH-1E and
AH-1S: Formerly AH-1S(MOD); 92 AH-1Qs (early TOW-capable AH-1G) upgraded by
1979; 87 AH-1Qs upgraded in 1986 to 1988 with Textron Lycoming T53-L-703
engines, Kaman rotor blades (see AH-1P) and TOW system, but retaining original
curved canopies; total includes 15 in TH-1S Night Stalker configuration for
training AH-64 crews to operate night vision system and Integrated Helmet And
Display Sighting System (IHADSS).
AH-1P: First batch of 100 new-production TOW Cobras (formerly called Production
AH-1S), beginning with 76-22567, delivered 1977 to 1978, two becoming AH-1F
prototypes; improvements include flat-plate canopy, upturned exhaust, improved
Nap-Of-the-Earth (NOE) instrument panel, continental US (CONUS) navigation
equipment, radar altimeter, improved communication radios, uprated engine and
transmission, push/pull anti-torque control and, from 67th aircraft onwards,
Kaman composite rotor blades with tapered tips.
AH-1E: Formerly Enhanced Cobra Armament System or Up-gun AH-1S; next 98
new-build aircraft, from 77-22673, with AH-1P improvements plus universal 20 mm
gun turret (invariably fitted with long barrel 20 mm cannon); improved wing
stores management system for 2.75 in rockets; automatic compensation for
off-axis gun firing; 10 kVA alternator for increased power. Delivered 1978 to
AH-1F: Fully upgraded TOW version, previously designated Modernised AH-1S; 149
manufactured for US Army, beginning 78-23095, in 1979 to 1986, including 50
transferred to Army National Guard; also 378 AH-1Gs converted to full AH-1F
standard between November 1979 and June 1982, including 41 TAH-1F trainers;
improvements of AH-1P and AH-1E added, plus new fire-control system having
laser rangefinder and tracker, ballistics computer, low-airspeed sensor probe,
Kaiser pilot's head-up display, Doppler navigation system, IFF transponder,
infrared jammer above engine, hot metal and plume infrared suppressor,
closed-circuit refuelling, new secure voice communications, Kaman composite
Retrofits: Later modifications have included C-Nite equipment fitted to 50 US
Army AH-1Fs (reduced from planned 500), Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS) and Cobra
Fleet Life Extension (C-Flex), engine air filter, redesigned swashplate, M43
nuclear/biological/chemical mask, AN/AVR-2 laser warning and improved SCAS roll
modifications. C-Nite FLIR for TOW sight delivered 1990 to US Army's Aviation
Battalion in South Korea. C-Flex items already completed include Nite Fix
lighting, AH-1G-to-AH-1S upgrade and K-Flex driveshaft; remaining C-Flex work
includes rotor improvements, improved TOW test set and radio upgrade.
UPGRADES: General Electric:
Announced in early 1994 that it was to re-engine the Turkish Army's 12 AH-1W
Super-Cobra helicopters with T700-GE-401 turboshaft engines.
IAI/General Electric: Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to demonstrate
the technical advantages of re-engining the Israeli Air Force (IAF) fleet of
AH-1S helicopters with a version of the General Electric T700-701C turboshaft
engine. This programme will include rewiring and installing capability for
gunner to fire TOW by means of TV.
Korea, South: Currently upgrading its fleet of 72 AH-1S Cobra Helicopters to
carry Hughes TOW-2A and Rockwell AGM-114 Hellfire anti-armour missiles.
Taman: Reported to have won contract in early 1995 to upgrade Turkish Cobra
AH-1P Helicopters with Night Targeting Systems (NTS). Contract value thought to
be US$12 million. Selected as systems integrator with Triton Systems (USA) as
programme manager and Canadian Marconi as systems engineer to install a
tactical navigation system to the Turkish Army AH-1P helicopters. Prototype
installation commenced in March 1995. Final test and certification took place
in October 1995. Production began in December 1995. Tactical Navigation System
consists of the CMA 2012 B Doppler Navigation System (DNS), Rockwell Collins
822-0205-501 Miniaturised Avionics GPS Receiver (MAGR) and the CMA-2082A-5
Avionics Management System (AMS) as the Control Display Unit (CDU).
Versions of the Bell and Fuji Bell AH-1E/F/P/S and TH-1S are in service with
the armed forces of the following countries: Bahrain (14); Israel (39); Japan
(89); Jordan (24); Korea South (68); Pakistan (18); Thailand (4); Turkey (28)
and USA (774).
Transmission rated at 962 kW (1,290 shp) for take-off and 845 kW (1,134 shp)
continuous; Kaman composite blades, fitted from 67th AH-1P onwards, tolerate
hits by 23 mm shells, have tungsten carbide bearing sleeves and outer 15 per
cent of blade is tapered in chord and thickness; tailboom strengthened against
23 mm hits; airframe has infrared suppressant paint finish.
One 1,342 kW (1,800 shp) Textron Lycoming T53-L-703 turboshaft. Closed circuit
refuelling on AH-1F. Fuel capacity 980 litres (259 US gallons; 216 Imp
gallons). Upward-facing exhaust on AH-1E; IR suppression nozzle on AH-1F.
Flat-plate canopy has seven planes of viewing surfaces, designed to minimise
glint and reduce possibility of visual detection during Nap-Of-the-Earth (NOE)
flying; it also provides increased headroom for pilot. Improved instrument
layout and lighting, compatible with use of night vision goggles. Improved,
independently operating window/door ballistic jettison system to facilitate
crew escape in emergency.
10 kVA 400 Hz AC alternator with emergency bus added to electrical system.
Hydraulic system pressure 103.5 bars (1,500 lb/sq in), maximum flow rate 22.7
litres (6 US gallons; 5 Imp gallons)/min. Open reservoir. Battery driven Abex
standby pump, for use in event of main hydraulic system failure, can be used
for collective pitch control and for boresighting turret and TOW missile
system. Improved environmental control and fire detection systems.
Standard Lightweight Avionics Equipment (SLAE) includes AN/ARC-114 FM,
AN/ARC-164 UHF/AM voice com, and E-Systems (Memcor Division) AN/ARC-115 VHF/AM
voice com (compatible with KY-58 single-channel secure voice system). Other
avionics include AN/ASN-128 Doppler nav system in AH-1F; HSI; VSI; radar
altimeter; push/pull anti-torque controls for tail rotor; co-pilot's standby
magnetic compass. C-Flex upgrade includes introduction of Magnavox
AN/ARC-164(V) UHF/AM, Collins AN/ARC-186 VHF/AM-FM, ITT AN/ARC-201 (SINCGARS)
VHF/FM, and LaBarge AN/ARN-89B D/F.
M65 system with eight Hughes TOW missiles, disposed as two two-round clusters
on each outboard underwing station. Inboard wing stations remain available for
other stores. Beginning with first AH-1E, M28 (7.62/40 mm) turret in earlier
HueyCobras replaced by new electrically powered General Electric universal
turret, designed to accommodate 20 mm weapon and improve standoff capability,
although only 20 mm M197 three-barrel cannon (with 750 rounds) mounted in this
turret. Rate of fire 675 rds/min. Turret position is controlled by pilot or
co-pilot/gunner through helmet sights, or by co-pilot using M65 TOW missile
system's telescopic sight unit. Field of fire up to 110° to each side of
aircraft, 20.5° upward and 50° downward. Also from first AH-1E, helicopter
equipped with Baldwin Electronics M138 wing stores management subsystem,
providing means to select and fire, singly or in groups, any one of five types
of external 2.75 in rocket store. These mounted in launchers each containing 7
or 19 tubes, additional to TOW missile capability.
In addition to these installations, first AH-1F introduced fire-control
subsystem which includes Kaiser head-up display for pilot, Teledyne Systems
digital fire-control computer for turreted weapon and underwing rockets,
omnidirectional airspeed system to improve cannon and rocket accuracy, Hughes
laser rangefinder (accurate over 10,000 m; 32,800 ft), and Rockwell AN/AAS-32
automatic airborne laser tracker. Other operational equipment includes Hughes
LAAT stabilised sight, GEC Avionics M-143 air data subsystem, Bendix/King
AN/APX-100 solid state IFF transponder, Sanders AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer
(above engine), suppressor for infrared signature from engine hot metal and
exhaust plume, and AN/APR-39 radar warning receiver.
LENGTH (m) : 16.18
HEIGHT (m) : 4.09
WING SPAN (m) : 13.41
MAX LEVEL SPEED (knots) : 123
MAX RANGE (nm) : 274
SERVICE CEILING (m) : 3720
HOVERING CEILING (m) : 3720
MAX RATE CLIMB (m/min) : 494