Barhain signs for 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters

Bahrain signed an agreement with a Bell Helicopter to buy 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters under a $912 million contract, the country announced at the Barhain International Airshow.

US clears 911M FMS from Bahrain for 12 AH 1Z attack helicopters 001 A US Marine Corps AH-1Z Zulu attack helicopter
(Credit: Bell Helicopter)

According to local medias, the first batch of AH-1Z helicopters will be delivered to Bahrain by the end of 2022.

In April 2018, Bahrain requested 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, 26 T-700 GE 401C engines, 14 AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles, and 56 Advance Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS-II) WGU-59Bs through the US Foreign Military Sales program. 

This request also includes 15 Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) Inertial Navigation System (INS) (EGI) w/Standard Positioning Service (SPS), 12 M197 20mm gun systems, 14 AN/AAQ-30 Target Sight Systems, 26 Helmet Mounted Display/Optimized Top Owl, communication equipment, electronic warfare systems, 15 APX-117 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), 15 AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems, 15 AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser Sets, 15 APR-39C(V)2 Radar Warning Receivers, and other related elements of logistics and program support. 

"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," the DSCA then stated.

"Bahrain will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense," the Agency added. The principal contractors will be Bell Helicopter and General Electric Company.

The AH-1Z Viper, also called "Zulu Cobra", is a twin-engine attack helicopter. Based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, the Viper features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target sighting system. Its two redesigned wing stubs are longer, with each adding a wing-tip station for a missile such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder. Each wing has two other stations for 2.75-inch (70 mm) Hydra 70 rocket pods, or AGM-114 Hellfire quad missile launchers.