Top 5 best military attack helicopters in service in the world

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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

Photo credit: Airbus

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.

DescriptionData of version HAP
TypeMedium attack helicopter
Crewpilot and gunner
Length of hull14.08 m
Length over main rotor15.80 m
Rotor diameter13.00 m
Tail rotor diameter2.70 m
Wingspan4.50 m (with external load carriers)
Height3.83 m
Empty weight3060 kg
Normal takeoff weight4710 kg
Max. takeoff weight6100 kg
Internal fuel1080 kg (1360 l)
Top speed290 km/h (315 km/h without armament and mast sight)
Cruising speed280 km/h
Climb rate10.7 m/s
Service ceiling4000 m
Operational rangeup to ~ 800 km
Duration of use3.1 h
Transfer range1300 km
Engines2 × MTR-390 2C
Engine power873 kW each
(1160 kW emergency power)

#4 – Bell AH-1Z Viper, US

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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.

DescriptionData of Bell AH-1Z Viper
Overall length17.68 m
Body length13.97 m
Height over everything4.31 m
Main rotor area168.10 m²
Width with stub wings3.28 m
Main rotor diameter14.63 m
Tail rotor diameter2.97 m
Power unitGeneral Electric T700-GE-401
Top speed315 km/h
Service ceiling6000 m
Hovering altitude915 m / 4,750 m (without / with ground effect)
Rangeapprox. 635 km
Empty weight4656 kg
Max. takeoff weight6690 kg
Internal fuel tank volume1,153 l or 1,165

#3 – Mil Mi-28 Night Hunter, Russia

Photo credit:

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.

DescriptionData of Mi-28
TypeHeavy attack helicopter
Main rotor diameter17.20 m
Hull length17.91 m (without rotors)
Width4.88 m (over stub wings)
Height3.82 m (to the tip of the rotor head)
Empty weight7890 kg
Takeoff mass normal10500 kg or 11700 kg
Top speed324 km / h (at a height of 500 m)
Cruising speed265 km/h
Rate of climb max.13.6 m/s
Hover4500 m
Service ceilingstatic 3500 m, dynamic 4950 m
Range normal435 km with reserve
Transfer range1105 km
Engines2 × Klimow shaft turbines TW3-117WMA-SB3 or Klimow TW7-117WK
NoteTransport 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

Ka-52, Russia

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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.

DescriptionData of Ka-52
Rotor diametereach 14.5 m
Length15 m (16 m including rotor)
Height4.95 m
Empty weight7700 kg
Takeoff weight norm.10,400 kg, max. 11,900 kg
Top speed310 km/h
80 km / h sideways
90 km / h backwards
Cruising speed250 km/h
Service ceiling5500 m
Climb rate8 m / s (13.2 m / s vertical)
Range450 km (max. 1200 km)
Engines2 × Klimow TW7-117
Output each1,985 kW (2,699 PS)
Starting turbine (APU)Ivchenko AI-9W

#1 – Boeing AH-64 Apache, US

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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.

DescriptionData of Ah-64D
Total length17.76 m
Body length14.97 m
Length over main rotor17.39 m
Length over tail rotor15.47 m
Rotor diameter14.63 m
Tail rotor diameter2.79 m
Wingspan5.82 m
Height4.95 m
Empty weight5352 kg
Normal take-off weight7480 kg
Max. takeoff weight10423 kg
Top speed265 km/h
Climb rate7.5 m/s
Service ceiling5915 m
Operational range407 km (with normal take-off mass)
Engines2 × General Electric T700-GE-701C turbines
(up to 1,940 hp)

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