© BellTextron/US Marine Corps
Aircraft manufacturer Bell Textron recently announced the delivery of the 189th AH-1Z Viper helicopter to the Marine Corps, completing the Program Registration (POR) for the latest H-1 platform.
“The first production batch of U.S. Marine Corps H-1s were ordered in 1962, and they changed the way Marines fight today,” said Mike Deslatte, vice president and program director. Bell H-1. “The completion of AH-1Z and UH-1Y deliveries to the United States Marine Corps adds another chapter to the legacy of the H-1 platform.”
According to Bell Textron, the current generation AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom are the most agile, mobile and resilient combination of aircraft used by the Department of Defense, adding that the 85% common platforms are both only aircraft that share so much commonality, offering logistical agility and reduced operating costs.
“H-1s are key to the Marine Corps Aviation Plan 2022,” said Col. Vasillios Pappas, program manager for Light/Attack Helicopters (PMA-276). “With the US registration program now complete, the Marines have the flexibility to manage and deploy the helicopters based on current and future mission requirements, as established at the start of the program.”
Officials said that since the initial delivery of the AH-1Z and UH-1Y to the Marine Corps, the combined H-1 fleet has accumulated more than 450,000 flight hours through a full spectrum of military operations.