The US Defence department spends another US$ 59,703,818 for the manufacturing and delivery of 15 UH-1Y Venom (Lot 12) assault helicopters and 11 AH-1Z Super Cobra (Lot 12) attack helicopters for the US Marine Corps, the department announced on 27 March 2014. Work will be done by Bell Textron in Forth Worth and Amarillo, Texas, and will be completed in September 2015.
The AH-1Z Super Cobra, aka Viper, is the US Marines flying artillery. The first version was introduced in 1967 and was almost immediately forwarded to the war operations in Vietnam. Armed with rockets and a 20mm canon the Super Cobra provides close air support for Marines on the ground. Moreover it escorts transport helicopters into battle. The AH-1Z is equipped with enhanced navigation displays that distinguish friends from enemies, data transfer systems that deliver real-time aerial reconnaissance to Marines on the ground and composite rotor blades and tail booms that can withstand 23mm cannon fire.
When outfitted with door-mounted .50 caliber and 7.62 machine guns and teamed alongside AH-1s, Marine UH-1s give USMC commanders an extra fist on the battlefield. All Marine UH-1N Hueys are being replaced with four-bladed UH-1Y Venoms. They feature upgraded glass cockpit avionics, a new satellite data link network, a 125% boost in payload and 50% increase in range and speed.
Source: US DoD