Drawing: Cobra Drawing: Cobra

Red Line Marine Corps News
Story Date: 19 December 2008
Author: Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin
Unit: Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 Red Line

Corps’ Cobra receives new fangs

Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California — In 1968, enemies of U.S. forces in Vietnam discovered a new and deadly reason to fear close-air support from the AH-1G “HueyCobra.” Present enemies will have a new reason to fear the latest generation of Cobra, the AH-1Z “Viper.”

For almost a decade, Marine aviation has been developing a re-invention of the Corps’ signature gunship, bringing several new capabilities to the fight in the Global War on Terror.

“The ‘Zulu’ has the ability to provide longer time on station due to increased fuel capacity as well as carrying twice as many precision guided missiles,” said Capt. Daniel McGuire, an AH-1W/Z flight officer with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303. “The AH-1Z has the capacity for carrying 16 Hellfire missiles and a full tank of gas for two-and-half hours time on station.”

The new “Zulu” now carries 2,500 lbs of useable fuel, giving it 32 percent more capacity than the “Whiskey” currently flown by Marine pilots. It also enables the Cobra to carry 3,000 pounds of ordnance into the fight. The increased fuel capacity grants the Cobra a strike range of more than 170 nautical miles, almost twice as far as previous models.

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