ABOVE: The US Marine Corps’ current generation AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters share 85% of their components

During a recent ceremony at the Amarillo Assembly Center, Bell celebrated the delivery of the 189th AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter to the US Marine Corps. “The first production lot of US Marine Corps H-1s was ordered in 1962, and they changed the way Marines fight today,” said Mike Deslatte, H-1 vice president and program director. “Completing the AH-1Z and UH-1Y deliveries to the US Marine Corps adds one more chapter to the legacy of the H-1 platform.”

Bell has been producing H-1s for the US military since 1959, starting with the iconic ‘Huey’, which was originally designed for the US Army and became synonymous with the Vietnam War. In 1966 the AH-1 Cobra became the first dedicated helicopter gunship, and in 1970 the UH-1N introduced twin engine capabilities.

The current generation AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom have 85% commonality, providing the Marines with logistical agility and reduced operating costs. The H-1 production line is still active in support of foreign military sales to approved US allies. Bell is currently building Vipers for the Kingdom of Bahrain and will manufacture eight UH-1Ys and four AH-1Zs for the Czech Republic in 2023.