The RJAF first received 24 AH-1S Cobras in 1985 and nine surplus US Army AH-1Fs followed in the 2000. During service at least one S was lost and in 2010 sixteen AH-1F gunships were transferred to Pakistan under a US sponsored support program.
In late 2014/early 2015 the RJAF received 16 Israeli AH-1 Tzefa aircraft, equipped with a new night targeting system that took the place of the old TSU, these helicopters were handed over to help in the fight against ISIS.
In 2018 SES presented the updated Cobra, known as AH-1F(SES), during the SOFEX special operations exhibition.
Live firing trials began in autumn and all the 12 modernized aircraft were back in Jordania by the 17 of April 2020.
Currently Jordania hasn’t fielded yet the AH-1F (SES) but soon will be in the hands of the 12th squadron of the Sahel Nassab Group after they’ll complete the transitioning course.
These aircraft will be fielded for at least another 20 years, in the meanwhile the RJAF it’s already searching for another helicopter to boost their ranks while they try to sell the old variants.
Arrival of an AH-1F (SES) in Jordania
AH-1F undergoing works at Science and Engineering Services
This helicopter is a joint effort between Science and Engineering Services and Northrop Grumman, the former designed and engineered the AH-1F modifications itself with the scope of upgrading three areas of the Cobras: airframe, avionics and weapons.
12 aircafts have been modernized.
SES worked closely with the airframe original manufacturer, Bell, and Honeywell, the engine supplier, throught its modernisation program. The US company throughly inspected each aircraft while carrying on rewiring and reconditioning works in their facility in Huntsville.
Meanwhile Northrop Grumman provided their technologies and designs for the avionics and the integration of the new weapons: they fitted the aircrafts with their Integrated Mission Equipment Package (IMEP), this avionic suite is based on the one already present on the UH-1Y, AH-1Z and UH60V.
It features a FlightPro Gen III mission computer, new L-3 LCD MultiFunction Displays, a Rockwell Collins back-up screen, an embedded Northrop Grumman GPS/INS with a fibre-optic gyro and an embedded software digital map, and new navigation controls. To top it off, new Rockwell Collins ARC-210 radios were installed.
The top of the notch avionics upgrade are also really future proof as this system is modular and with an open architecture that will make the integration of third party hardware and software really easy.
Another bonus of this avionic suite is its lightweight components that cut the aircraft’s weight by 300lbs when compared to the older variant.
Photo of the pilot’s cockpit.
The original Television Sight Unit was also replaced with a modern electro-optical/infrared L-3 Wescam MX-15D sensor turret.
The equipment of the aircraft also got a significant boost as it implemented the Lockeed Martin M310 launchers, capable of firing the well known AGM-114 Hellfire missile, and seven or nineteen round 70mm rocket pods or BAE Systems APKWS II laser guided rockets. Defensive wise the aircraft received the new defensive suite that include the Orbital ATK AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System and the Extant Aerospace AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispenders.
AH-1F (SES) during SOFEX, you can notice the new sensor turret, launchers and countermeasures.
300lbs lighter than the original AH-1F
-AH-1F base weaponry
-8xAGM114 Hellfire missiles (R,N,K variants)
-4x 7 or 19 round 70mm BAE Systems APKWS II laser guided rockets
Note: this helicopter doesn’t have any kind of AAM
-AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers
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