Four Ways the Bell AH-1Z Viper Is Shaping the Future of Flight

Revolutionizing the future of principal attack helicopters for decades


U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper pilots, Capt. Brendan O’Donnel and Capt. Gavin Wezinsky land at a forward arming and refueling point during Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course at Stoval Airfield, Dateland, Arizona | Photo by: Sgt. Alexander Sturdivant

Unmatched Airborne Edge

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is the only attack helicopter in the world with fully integrated air-to-air missile (AAM) capabilities. Uniquely equipped with six weapon stations, the Viper can carry a diverse weapons load, ranging from AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missiles (JAGM), and a variety of laser-guided and conventional rockets. It is also equipped with a 20mm cannon. With AAM and JAGM assets, the Viper gives warfighters the lethal airborne advantage with operational flexibility needed in diverse terrain and missions.

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Lethal Aerial Reconnaissance

The AH-1Z sees you before you see it. The Target Sight System (TSS) allows operators to distinguish friend from foe at standoff range. Rain or shine, day or night – the third-generation TSS, coupled with the Optimized Top Owl Helmet Mounted Display System, provides essential long range target identification and accuracy for lethal strike capabilities at an optimal standoff range.


Weather Adaptability

As the only marinized attack helicopter, at the point of manufacture, engineered to withstand the world’s harshest maritime environments, the AH-1Z was purpose-built to meet U.S. Marine Corps specifications to ensure mission success during shipboard operations.


Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Angus Moss directs an AH-1Z Viper on the flight deck of USS San Diego | Photo by: PO3 Justin Schoenberger

Versatile Mission Readiness

Challenging missions have met their match with the Viper. With 85% component capability with the Bell UH-1Y, moving between aircraft is as seamless as ever. The H-1 line delivers reduced maintenance, training costs, and supply efforts to support a mixed fleet of aircraft, all while being multi-mission capable.


A U.S Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter prepares to land beside a U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper helicopter on the flight deck of the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 | Photo by: CDR Matthew Lyall

To learn more about the AH-1Z Viper’s advanced capabilities and the latest news, click here.

The views expressed are that of Bell and do not imply or constitute U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) endorsement.

NAVAIR Public Release 2023-447. Distribution Statement A – “Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited”

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About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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