Airbus Helicopters

Bell Helicopter Secures Deal for 15 AH-1Z Cobra Attack Helicopters From U.S Navy

Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper at NAF El Centro. Photo by Damon Duran

Bell Helicopter, A Textron subsidiary, stands to make $49.1 Million from latest deal to supply additional AH-1Z Viper Helicopters to Marine Corps.

Government procurement sources today announced that Bell Helicopter was awarded an advanced acquisition contract from the U.S. Navy for the procurement of long-lead items and components for 15 AH-1Z helicopters to be delivered to the Marine Corps.  The contract awarded to Bell Helicopter by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD is reported to be valued at $49.1 million USD. The new AH-1Z order will be manufactured at Bell Helicopter facilities in Fort Worth and Amarillo, TX. Naval Air Systems Command used funds made available from fiscal year 2017 aircraft procurement funds to cover the full amount at the time of award. The Department of Defense said the contract was not competitively procured in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1 (a) likely pertaining to an exception granted due to Bell being the sole supplier of the required airframe.

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the AH-1W Super Cobra, originally developed for the United States Marine Corps as part of the UH-1 upgrade program. The AH-1Z features a four-blade, bearing-less, composite main rotor system, upgraded transmission, and a new target sighting system. The AH-1Z, still considered a member of the venerable UH-1H Huey family, features advanced re configurable armaments and a Target Sight System on the AH-1Z that provides the longest range and highest accuracy of any helicopter weapons sighting system in the world. The helicopters revolutionary sighting system is connected to the gunners helmet where the helicopters nose mounted 20mm cannon is able to track a target in the direction the gunner points their head.

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