The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
Dirty Little Secrets
AH-1Z Headed For Afghanistan
The U.S. Marine Corps has declared its new AH-1Z attack helicopter operational, and will be sending the first of them to Afghanistan later this year. For the last five years, the marines have been working on this new aircraft. Basically, the AH-1Z is created by remanufacturing older AH-1T/W attack helicopters into AH-1Z models. This produces a helicopter with a 10,000 hours (in the air) airframe, new engines, new electronics and an updated and much more effective gunship. There have been some problems with the fire control system (which is, when it works, similar to what the latest AH-64s have), that caused some delays. However, the marines were able to catch up, and the AH-1Z kept to its scheduled entry into service this year. The marines plan to have 189 AH-1Zs by 2020. This will include 131 remanufactured AH-1Ws and 58 AH-1Zs that will be manufactured new.
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