AH-1Z and UH-1Y Progress Report
02 Mar 2006
The H-1 Program, aimed at developing the UH-1Y and AH-1Z upgraded helicopters to replace the Marine Corps UH-1N and AH-1W fleets, completed developmental testing on February 17.
The program is currently preparing to enter the Operational Evaluation as well as to start a third Low-Rate Initial Production lot. Two of the five developmental test aircraft are already transferred to Patuxent River to train the military personnel who will conduct the operational evaluation.
The first aircraft AH-1Z-1 is currently being prepared for live-fire testing at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, California. Two more are in final preparationt o be transferred to the operational test squadron.
To date, the H-1 Operational Test Team has put a total of 156.6 flight hours on the aircraft in 92 sorties.
Bell Helicopter, the manufacturer of the aircraft, has 16 aircraft on two firm fixed price Low-Rate Initial production contracts worth $185.6 million and $111.4 million respectively. Seven aircraft are already in assembly in Amarillo, Texas.
The first new build UH-1Ys will start production in 2006 as part of the third lot of low-rate initial production aircraft. First deliveries of the new aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2008. By 2018, the Marine Corps will have procured 100 UH-1Y Venoms and 180 AH-1Z Vipers.
- Shephard Rotorhub