US Navy contracts Bell Helicopter for AH-1Z aircraft procurement

The U.S. Navy awarded Bell Helicopter Textron a $49 million contract for the procurement of long-lead items and components for the AH-1Z aircraft.

The contract covers the acquisition of components for 27 Lot 15 AH-1Z helicopters that are used in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Bell Helicopter will perform the work in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Texas, and is expected to complete it by March 2018.

In late December 2016, the U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for the large-aperture midwave forward-looking infrared Target Sight System (TSS) sensors for the helicopters.

The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter provides rotary wing close air support, anti-armor, armed escort, armed/visual reconnaissance and fire support for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The 12,300 lbs (5579 kg) helicopter is equipped with an integrated advanced fire control system and the capacity to support multiple weapons configurations.

Initial operational capability for the AH-1Z, which is replacing the two-bladed AH-1W, was reached in 2011.

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