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08:50 AM, January 19, 2019
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Bell USMC AH-1 Viper (Image: Wikipedia)

Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. has won $439.5 million modification contract to exercise an option for the production and delivery of 25 Lot 16 AH-1Z aircraft and 25 stores control units.

Work is expected to be completed in January 2022, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Friday.

The AH-1Z is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the Bell AH-1W SuperCobra that features a four-blade rotor system, uprated transmission, and a new target-sighting system. It has upgraded avionics, weapons, and electro-optical sensors designed to find targets at long ranges and attack them with precision weapons.

The Marine Corps H-1 upgrades program is building new helicopters, as well as rebuilding legacy AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters and UH-1N Twin Huey utility helicopters, with state-of-the-art designs. The program seeks to upgrade AH-1Ws to AH-1Zs, and UH-1Ns to UH-1Ys.

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