Ducommun to support USMC AH-1Z Cobra helicopter programme

2 August 2012 (Last Updated August 2nd, 2012 03:50)

Textron subsidiary Bell Helicopter has awarded a subcontract to Ducommun to develop and deliver titanium firewall and baffle assemblies for the US Marine Corps' (USMC) AH-1Z Cobra helicopters.

 AH-1Z

Textron subsidiary Bell Helicopter has awarded a subcontract to Ducommun to develop and deliver titanium firewall and baffle assemblies for the US Marine Corps' (USMC) AH-1Z Cobra helicopters.

Ducommun chairman president and chief executive officer Anthony Reardon said: "Our expertise in forming complex titanium structures ensures these assemblies will retain their strength in extreme high-temperature operating environments."

Powered by T700-GE-401 turboshaft engines, the AH-1Z aircraft are a part of USMC H-1 upgrade programme, aimed to replace its ageing two-blade AH-1W helicopters.

The Bell Helicopter-developed AH-1Z features a new, four-bladed composite rotor system, performance-matched transmission, four-bladed tail rotor, upgraded landing gear and a fully integrated glass cockpit.

In addition to providing assault support and air reconnaissance, the AH-1Z cobra helicopter supports anti-air warfare, and electronic warfare missions, as well as control of aircraft and missiles.

“Our expertise in forming complex titanium structures ensures these assemblies will retain their strength in extreme high-temperature operating environments.”

Armed with Mk 77 fire bombs, AGM-114F Hellfire anti-ship missiles, 70mm rockets as well as AGM-114A, B, and C Hellfire and anti-tank missiles, the Cobra helicopters are equipped with fuel vapour inerting systems and an AVR-2A laser warning receiver.

The aircraft is integrated with a Lockheed Martin target sight system (TSS), a multi-sensor fire control system to provide enhanced capabilities for pilots, as well as detect, track and engage targets in any climate and location.

Designed for lower maintenance, the AH-1Z helicopter also features fault detection sensors to support 'on-condition' maintenance, better accessibility, and reduced spares storage requirements, as well as elimination of certain maintenance tasks.

The USMC had received the first production AH-1Z helicopter in January 2007.

Work on the contract will be carried out at the company's facility in New York, US, and will run through until 2013.


Image: An AH-1Z showcased at the 2008 MCAS Miramar airshow. Photo: courtesy of Looper5920.