The AH-1W Super Cobra is the U.S. Marines’ attack helicopter. Supplied by Bell Helicopter Textron, it entered service in 1985. The Super Cobra was the first attack helicopter to use both the Sidewinder air-to-air missile and the Sidearm anti-radiation missile. Both missiles can use the same LAU-7 rail launcher. The Sidearm has a range of more than 15km. AIM-9L Sidewinder is an all-aspect, short-range, air-to-air missile produced by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. The missile has a range of 15km. This is in addition to the always fun three-barrel 20mm Gatling gun, which the Super Cobra carries for close-range engagement.
The Super Cobra can also carry both TOW and Hellfire anti-armour missiles and is being qualified to carry the Maverick missile. The Raytheon BGM-71 TOW missile has a range of more than 3 km and semi-automatic command-to-line-of-sight guidance. The AGM-114 Hellfire missile, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is equipped with a semi-active laser seeker and has a range of 7km. The Super Cobra has fire-and-forget capability when firing the Hellfire missile in cooperative mode with laser target illumination. In other words, a pretty heavy weapons load that gives the U.S. Marines all the options they need to fulfill the MAGTF close-air support role.
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