PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – There are some aerial vehicles that seem to always be part of military tactics and combat operations. The helicopters that laid the foundations of modern attack and reconnaissance drones are fast, mobile, dangerous and capable of transporting troops to places that are easily accessible to large transport aircraft.
Films about the Vietnam War seem to best describe the capabilities of these war machines. Today, they are much different, much more modern and perform more duties and activities than 40, 50 that even 60 years ago.
Today, they even launch mini-kamikaze drones, become bolder as they come within range of air defense systems, and will always be preferred for combat in urban environments.
Below we have listed the top five most collected attack helicopters in the world, which are currently operational and in service.
#5 – Eurocopter Tiger, Germany & France
The Tiger is a Franco-German attack helicopter from Airbus Helicopters. Originally it was called anti-tank helicopter 2 (PAH-2) in Germany, but after its introduction the Bundeswehr used it as the Tiger Support Helicopter (UHT). In October 2013, the Army Development Office officially designated the Tiger Combat Helicopter (KHT).
It can be air-loaded with the Airbus A400M transport aircraft. The tiger’s engine is being built by the MTU Turbomeca Rolls-Royce GmbH (MTR) consortium in Hallbergmoos near Munich. The final assembly of the helicopter takes place in Donauwörth, Marignane, Albacete and Australia.
|Description||Data of version HAP|
|Type||Medium attack helicopter|
|Crew||pilot and gunner|
|Length of hull||14.08 m|
|Length over main rotor||15.80 m|
|Rotor diameter||13.00 m|
|Tail rotor diameter||2.70 m|
|Wingspan||4.50 m (with external load carriers)|
|Empty weight||3060 kg|
|Normal takeoff weight||4710 kg|
|Max. takeoff weight||6100 kg|
|Internal fuel||1080 kg (1360 l)|
|Top speed||290 km/h (315 km/h without armament and mast sight)|
|Cruising speed||280 km/h|
|Climb rate||10.7 m/s|
|Service ceiling||4000 m|
|Operational range||up to ~ 800 km|
|Duration of use||3.1 h|
|Transfer range||1300 km|
|Engines||2 × MTR-390 2C|
|Engine power||873 kW each|
(1160 kW emergency power)
#4 – Bell AH-1Z Viper, US
The Bell AH-1 Cobra is the first real attack helicopter (AH) from the US manufacturer Bell Helicopter. When it was delivered in the mid-1960s, it was the world’s first pure attack helicopter; previously there were only armed transport helicopters.
Some Bell UH-1B “Huey” were heavily armed for escort duties and therefore also called “Cobra”. The engineers from Bell found out about this and adopted the name – although contrary to Army rules it was not derived from an Indian tribe. As a new version of the UH-1 instead of a new type was supposed to be made palatable to the Army, it was originally called the UH-1H “HueyCobra” and was only renamed AH-1G after the start of series production.
|Description||Data of Bell AH-1Z Viper|
|Overall length||17.68 m|
|Body length||13.97 m|
|Height over everything||4.31 m|
|Main rotor area||168.10 m²|
|Width with stub wings||3.28 m|
|Main rotor diameter||14.63 m|
|Tail rotor diameter||2.97 m|
|Power unit||General Electric T700-GE-401|
|Top speed||315 km/h|
|Service ceiling||6000 m|
|Hovering altitude||915 m / 4,750 m (without / with ground effect)|
|Range||approx. 635 km|
|Empty weight||4656 kg|
|Max. takeoff weight||6690 kg|
|Internal fuel tank volume||1,153 l or 1,165|
#3 – Mil Mi-28 Night Hunter, Russia
In the 1970s, the Kamow and Mil design offices developed the first types of Soviet helicopters specifically designed for use against tanks. The Mil Mi-28 was created in competition with the Kamow Ka-50. The structural design corresponds to the configuration usually used in dedicated combat helicopters. This includes, for example, the two-seater version with the gunner sitting in front and the pilot raised behind it.
The first flight took place on November 10, 1982 in the USSR. It should replace the aging Mil Mi-24 together with the Kamow Ka-52. Due to limited financial resources, the Mi-24, which was tested in Afghanistan, remains the most important combat helicopter in the Russian armed forces for the time being.
In 2003 the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had ordered 50 Mi-28N from Rostwertol. The first two Mi-28N were delivered in mid-2006. By 2015, 67 pieces should be available to replace the oldest Mi-24.
The first operational Russian squadron Mi-28N took part in a joint maneuver with Belarus in June 2006.
|Description||Data of Mi-28|
|Type||Heavy attack helicopter|
|Main rotor diameter||17.20 m|
|Hull length||17.91 m (without rotors)|
|Width||4.88 m (over stub wings)|
|Height||3.82 m (to the tip of the rotor head)|
|Empty weight||7890 kg|
|Takeoff mass normal||10500 kg or 11700 kg|
|Top speed||324 km / h (at a height of 500 m)|
|Cruising speed||265 km/h|
|Rate of climb max.||13.6 m/s|
|Service ceiling||static 3500 m, dynamic 4950 m|
|Range normal||435 km with reserve|
|Transfer range||1105 km|
|Engines||2 × Klimow shaft turbines TW3-117WMA-SB3 or Klimow TW7-117WK|
|Note||Transport of 2–3 people in the rear area possible|
#1 – Kamow Ka-52 Alligator, Russia and Boeing AH-64 Apache, US
It is very difficult to separate the two best helicopter attackers in the world and say which is better. Both helicopters have similar data and both helicopters receive very positive feedback, both from each of the opposing countries (Russia and the United States) and from the rest of the world. Therefore, these two helicopters share the first place
The Kamow Ka-52 Alligator is a two-seat Russian attack helicopter with a coaxial rotor. It is a further development of the Kamow Ka-50 “Black Shark”.
The Ka-52 was developed by Kamow as the successor to the Mil Mi-24 from the single-seat Kamow Ka-50. While the first prototype had its maiden flight in 1997, series production did not start until October 29, 2008. Then the various prototypes were equipped with other systems. Production takes place at the AAK Progress aircraft plant in Arsenyev, Primorye region.
Since 2012, the production line has been designed in such a way that the complete construction, including inspections, takes nine months to complete. At the time mentioned, only six units were under construction at the same time, although another production line could be set up next door for export orders.
|Description||Data of Ka-52|
|Rotor diameter||each 14.5 m|
|Length||15 m (16 m including rotor)|
|Empty weight||7700 kg|
|Takeoff weight norm.||10,400 kg, max. 11,900 kg|
|Top speed||310 km/h|
80 km / h sideways
90 km / h backwards
|Cruising speed||250 km/h|
|Service ceiling||5500 m|
|Climb rate||8 m / s (13.2 m / s vertical)|
|Range||450 km (max. 1200 km)|
|Engines||2 × Klimow TW7-117|
|Output each||1,985 kW (2,699 PS)|
|Starting turbine (APU)||Ivchenko AI-9W|
#1 – Boeing AH-64 Apache, US
The AH-64 Apache which is mainly used by the United States Army. The Apache was developed by the US company Hughes Aircraft and is now produced by Boeing.
The AH-64E “Apache Guardian” is the new name since October 2012 for the variant previously known as AH-64D Block III. The U.S. Army stated that the new name “Apache Guardian” was necessary due to the performance increases due to the new upgrades.
The extensions to the AH-64E include improved digital connectivity, the installation of the new Joint Tactical Radio System, more powerful T700-GE-701D turbines, an improved transmission for a maximum of 2120 kW, the ability to control UAVs, full IFR capabilities and 15 cm longer composite rotor blades. The new rotor blades, which successfully completed the flight test in May 2004, increase the speed, rate of climb and payload capacity of the Apache.
Another innovative capability is MUM-T (Manned-Unmanned Teaming), which enables US pilots to take control of nearby drones at any time and thus gain access to their sensors, live camera streams and weapons. With the MUM-T, the operating radius of the Apache is significantly increased. The pilots can use the drones to scout out their targets at a distance of 80 to 100 kilometers long before they approach the target area and can easily keep an eye on them even when moving. The system is already being used successfully in Afghanistan.
In October 2010, Boeing received the order for series production of the new Apache; delivery began in November 2011. Overall, the U.S. Army with 690 AH-64E, with 56 machines to be newly produced and 634 Apaches to be converted. First, 236 Block I helicopters are to be brought up to this level.
|Description||Data of Ah-64D|
|Total length||17.76 m|
|Body length||14.97 m|
|Length over main rotor||17.39 m|
|Length over tail rotor||15.47 m|
|Rotor diameter||14.63 m|
|Tail rotor diameter||2.79 m|
|Empty weight||5352 kg|
|Normal take-off weight||7480 kg|
|Max. takeoff weight||10423 kg|
|Top speed||265 km/h|
|Climb rate||7.5 m/s|
|Service ceiling||5915 m|
|Operational range||407 km (with normal take-off mass)|
|Engines||2 × General Electric T700-GE-701C turbines|
(up to 1,940 hp)
Read more: Top 5 best combat drones [UAVs] in the world
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