AH-1Z: Weapons Upgrade or Downgrade?
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
Pagination or Media Count:
BELL Helicopter advertises the weapons capability of the new and improved AH-1Z as the most capable and flexible multimission attack helicopter in the world. One of the main differences between the AH-1Z and its predecessor, the AH-1W, is the removal of the TOW missile system. If the AH-1Z does not retain the ability to employ the TOW missile system, or a like counterpart, how is it a more capable platform The AH-1Z uses the HELLFIRE system for a precision guided missile capability, but without TOW employment it means the cobra cannot mitigate the disadvantages of the HELLFIRE system. The primary HELLFIRE disadvantages that the TOW system augments are laser effects, flight trajectory, weight considerations, and ease-of-use. The TOW missile coupled with the HELLFIRE missile system would provide more flexibility for attack helicopters and their supported ground units in the operating environment. The AH-1Z Attack Helicopter should have a TOW missile capability as evidenced by the TOWs uses and advantages compared to the HELLFIRE missile and the role attack helicopters are playing in todays Marine Corps.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Air- and Space-Launched Guided Missiles