Marines Get Final Supply of Iconic H-1 Helicopter. However Do not Name It the ‘Finish of an Period’ But

A Marine unit at Camp Pendleton took supply this month of its final new H-1 helicopter, 60 years after the service ordered its first ones in 1962.

The final helicopter — an AH-1Z Viper — was flown from Amarillo, Texas, to the bottom by Col. Nathan Marvel, the commanding officer of Marine Plane Group 39 on Nov. 4.

Marvel, like most Marines, refers back to the AH-1Z because the “Cobra,” the moniker of earlier variations of the assault helicopter. Fashionable Cobras, like the primary ones developed within the mid-Nineteen Sixties, are primarily based upon and share a number of parts with the Corps’ utility helicopter variant, the UH-1Y Venom — generally referred to as “Hueys.”

Early variations of the helicopters characteristic prominently in lots of TV and movie depictions of the Vietnam Battle, equivalent to “Apocalypse Now”, “Platoon” and “Full Steel Jacket.”

“There (was) nothing extra iconic than the Huey in Vietnam,” Marvel informed the Union-Tribune in an interview. “Identical factor in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the identical with the Cobras.”

Since 2010, there have been 349 fashionable variants of the Huey and Cobra added to the Corps’ helicopter fleet. Whereas that run is now over for U.S. forces, H-1 producer Bell will proceed to provide the helicopters for U.S. allies, the corporate stated.

Nonetheless, the Marines plan on flying the helicopters for the following 20 to 30 years, in response to Marvel.

“Under no circumstances is that this the top of an period — it’s the subsequent chapter within the nice legacy of the H-1 and the U.S. Marine Corps,” Marvel stated in a press release.

The helicopters modified the best way the Marines struggle, in response to Mike Deslatte, the H-1 program director at Bell in Amarillo.

“The primary manufacturing lot of U.S. Marine Corps H-1s was ordered in 1962, and so they modified the best way Marines struggle at the moment,” Deslatte stated in a press release. “Finishing the AH-1Z and UH-1Y deliveries to the U.S. Marine Corps provides another chapter to the legacy of the H-1 platform.”

Each variations, the Huey and Cobra, have been upgraded through the years as navy know-how developed. Fashionable upgrades within the AH-1Z embrace a four-blade rotor and fashionable electronics and communications. It is armed with a Gatling gun and rockets, in addition to air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, the Marines stated.

The final fashionable UH-1Y Venom, or “Huey,” was delivered to the Marines in 2018.

In battle, the helicopters supply shut air help for infantry items on the bottom as a part of a Marine Air-Floor Process Power. They’ll function from ships at sea or land bases. It isn’t unusual for Cobra pilots to mattress down and spend time with the bottom troops they help, Marvel stated.

“I can land proper subsequent to a Marine, or Marines who want meals, provides or extradition,” he stated. “We come after they name and can be there, on station, so long as we’re wanted.”

MAG-39, primarily based at Camp Pendleton, consists of 4 squadrons flying UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters. Two MV-22 Osprey squadrons, a coaching squadron and a logistic squadron additionally fall underneath the plane group.

Whereas Lockheed Martin and Bell are competing to supply the U.S. Army with a next-generation assault helicopter, the Marine Corps shouldn’t be but searching for its personal, in response to Forbes.

Within the meantime, the Cobra cockpit will proceed to be stuffed by future Marines, Marvel stated.

“I’d not be stunned if my son, who’s 6 years previous, flies it,” he informed the Union-Tribune.

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