Bahrain is scheduled to receive its final delivery of six AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopters from American aerospace manufacturer Bell Textron later this year.
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Bell announced it has completed the AH-1Z program of record for the Kingdom of Bahrain on 20 February, delivering the 12th and last aircraft to Naval Air Systems Command in December last year.
The final six helicopters will now be prepared for shipment with the Defense Contract Management Agency before being transported to Bahrain later this year.
Bell vice-president and H-1 program director Mike Deslatte said the AH-1Z Viper is Bell’s newest generation of dedicated attack helicopters manufactured by Bell.
“Congratulations to the Kingdom of Bahrain on obtaining the latest generation of the AH-1Zs,” he said.
“As a leader in the region, Bahrain’s defensive capabilities will be further bolstered by the advanced technologies of the Viper.
“Capabilities are only part of the equation when it comes to modernising an aircraft fleet; by ensuring the aircraft can operate with minimal logistics support, the Viper enables leaders to react with greater speed and agility to rapidly evolving operations.”
Six aircraft initially delivered to the country have already been publicly displayed during the Bahrain International Airshow. The attack helicopters can carry an armament including sidewinder air-to-air missiles, Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, unguided rockets, three-barrel 20mm rotary cannon, and expendable countermeasures.
Into the future, Bell will also support the life cycle of the aircraft as part of the agreement to ensure reliability, survivability, and lethality of the aircraft.