27 April, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced that the US government has approved the sale of twelve AH-1Z attack helicopters to Bahrain for USD911,4 million.
According to the DSCA, the Government of Bahrain has requested 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, 26 T-700 GE 401C engines (24 installed and 2 spares), 14 AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles, and 56 Advance Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS-II) WGU-59Bs.
The DSCA also noted that this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally which is an important security partner in the region.
“Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Royal Bahraini Air Force plays a significant role in Bahrain’s defense,” said in DSCA’s announce.
The Bell AH-1Z Viper is an improved version of the first ever attack helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra. It is also called Zulu Cobra. The latest AH-1Z Viper is a result of H-1 helicopter upgrade program for the US Marine Corps. It was launched by the US Government in 1996 and has been won the Bell helicopter company. It is worth noting that the Viper was developed alongside the UH-1Y Venom transport helicopter under the same program.
The AH-1Z 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.