Friday, November 25, 2022

U.S. Navy awards contract to General Dynamics for AH-1Z’s gun turrets

The U.S. Navy has contracted General Dynamics-Ordinance and Tactical Systems, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, to supply 37 gun turrets for AH-1Z helicopters.

According to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Defense, General Dynamics-Ordinance and Tactical Systems (OTS) Inc., is awarded $7,5 million for modification to a delivery order against a previously placed basic ordering agreement. This modification procures 37 A/A49E-7(V4) gun turrets for AH-1Z helicopters for the Navy (25); and the government of Bahrain (12).

The A/A49E-7(V4) gun turret system is chin mounted on the AH-1Z chopper providing the capability to position, feed, and fire the M197 20MM rotary gun.


The company’s website said the major components of the A/A49E-7(V4) are the M197 20MM rotary gun, gun turret, control system and ammunition handling system. It provides air to air and air to ground close-range combat capability.

Also, the AH-1Z can carry and deploy 16 hellfire missiles, effectively doubling the capacity of its predecessor, the AH-1W. Updated avionics systems and sensors were another important aspect of the upgrade.

The Bell AH-1Z is built to meet the expeditionary requirements of the United States Marine Corps. With virtually identical front and rear glass cockpits, fully integrated weapons, avionics and communications systems, the marinized Bell AH-1Z flies with the most advanced aircraft weapons and survivability equipment in the world.

The Zulu is the only attack helicopter in the world with a fully-integrated air-to-air missile capability. Target identification is crucial in the modern battlefield. The Bell AH-1Z’s Target Sight System provides the longest range and highest accuracy of any helicopter sight in the world.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.