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AH-1Z Viper

The AH-1Z Viper is a two seat, twin engine, single rotor attack helicopter currently fielded by the United States Marine Corps. It provides rotary wing close air support, anti-armor, armed escort, armed/visual reconnaissance and fire support coordination capabilities under day/night and adverse weather conditions.

AH-1Z Viper Copyright © Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jesse Monford, U.S. Navy


In active service


Primary contractor: Bell Helicopter Company

Parts commonality with the UH-1Y Venom

85 percent commonality of maintenance-significant components results in reduced support requirements, training, logistics footprint. The common components are:

  • Integrated Digital Cockpit
  • 100 percent identical software configuration with an upgradable common software interface and mission planning system
  • Active & Passive Countermeasures
  • Optimized TopOwl Helmet Mounted System Display (HMSD)
  • Advanced Memory Unit (AMU) with Common Mission Loading/Maintenance Data Extraction
  • Common Drive Train
    • Composite Rotor System
    • Main Transmission
    • Intermediate and Tail Rotor Gearbox
  • Redundant Hydraulic Systems
  • Electrical System
  • 4-Bladed Pusher Tail Rotor
  • 4-Bladed Composite Main Rotor
  • Fire Extinguishing System
  • Flight Control Servos
  • Oil Cooling System
  • T700-401C Engines
  • IR Suppressors
  • Battery & Auxiliary Power Unit


1 Pilot
1 Co-Pilot / Gunner

Weapon systems

Main cannon
M197 20mm Gatling Cannon
4 x Under-wing pylon station
Hellfire Missile Pod
» AGM-114 Hellfire
- OR -
LAU-68D/A 7-tube Rocket Pod
» Hydra 70 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket
- OR -
LAU-61D/A 19-tube Rocket Pod
» Hydra 70 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket


Length (fuselage): 13.66 meters 44.83 feet
Length with rotating rotor: 17.75 meters 58.25 feet
Rotor diameter: 14.63 meters 48 feet
Height: 4.37 meters 14.33 feet
Empty weight: ~5 579 kilograms 12 300 pounds
Maximum takeoff weight: ~8 391 kilograms 18 500 pounds
Power plant: two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines
Performance: 1 800 shaft horsepower (each engine)
Cruise speed: 155 knots » ~287 kilometers per hour ~178 miles per hour
Service ceiling: 6 100+ meters 20 000+ feet
Combat radius: 125 nautical miles » ~232 kilometers ~144 miles
Rate of climb: 14.2 meters per second 2 790 feet per minute