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Bell AH-1W Supercobra Fleet Images Fleet Information Details & Weapons
Before Taiwan acquired the AH-1W, the ROCA had used the UH-1H fitted with 2.75-in rocket launchers to fulfill the gunship role. Then in 1991, Taiwan requested the purchase of 18 AH-1W and 12 OH-58D from the U.S. under the program codenamed "Lu Peng", to improve the attack capability of ROCA's helicopter fleet. The letter of acceptance was signed in February 1992 and nine were delivered to ROCA in April 1993, thus making Taiwan the second foreign operator of the Supercobra (Turkey is the first). Along with these helicopters, 1000 AGM-114C Hellfire anti-tank missiles and about 300 AIM-9S Sidewinder air-to-air missiles were also ordered. By April 1995, Taiwan had ordered another three batches of eight AH-1W, bringing the total ordered to 42. These helicopters were to equip to two attack helicopter groups.

In 1997, Taiwan made another request for 21 additional AH-1W to equip the third group. The contract for the first 9 helicopters was awarded on October 3, and that for the remaining 12 on December 19. Delivery of all 21 AH-1W had been completed in 2001.

During their service with the ROCA, Taiwan's AH-1W had been retrofitted with NTSF-65 Night Targeting System (NTS) and the AN/ALQ-144 infrared countermeasure system. In the spring of 1999, two AH-1W helicopter simulators, worth almost $7 million, were ordered from Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation for training the crew.

The Ministry of National Defense initiated an extensive re-organization program in 1997, resulting in the establishment of Air Cavalry Brigades in the ROCA. The AH-1W are now assigned to the Attack Helicopter Battalion in each Brigade.

601st Air Cavalry Brigade 601st Air Cavalry Brigade Badge of Attack Battalion, 601st Air Cavalry Brigade Attack Battalion, 601st Air Cavalry Brigade 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade Badge of Attack Battalion, 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade Attack Battalion, 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade Aviation Training Command Aviation Training Command Badge of Attack Battalion, Aviation Training Center Attack Battalion, Aviation Training Center

Fleet Images

501 502 503 504
505 506 507 508
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513 514 515 516
517 518 519 520
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525 526 527 528
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541 542 543 544
545 546 547 (Photo by Jason Tu) 548
549 (Photo by Jason Tu) 550 (Photo by Jason Tu) 551 552
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557 558 559 560
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Fleet Information

Tail No. Serial No. Constr. No. Remark
501 164913 26701
502 164914 26703
503 164915 26704
504 164916 26705
505 164917 26706
506 164918 26707
507 164919 26708
508 164920 26709
509 164921 26710
510 164922 26711
511 164923 26712
512 164924 26713
513 164925 26714
514 164926 26715
515 164927 26716
516 164928 26717
517 164929 26718
518 164930 26719
519 164931 26720
520 164932 26721
521 164933 26722
522 164934 26723
523 164935 26724
524 164936 26725
525 164937 26726
526 164938 26727 w/o 07/17/991
527 165334 26728
528 165335 26729
529 165336 26730
530 165337 26731
531 165338 26732
532 165339 26733
Tail No. Serial No. Constr. No. Remark
533 165340 26734
534 165341 26735
535 165370
536 165371
537 165372
538 165373
539 165374
540 165375
541 165376
542 165377
543 165545
544 165546
545 165547
546 165548
547 165549
548 165550
549 165551
550 165552
551 165553
552 165554
553 165555
554 165556
555 165557
556 165558
557 165559
558 165560
559 165561
560 165562
561 165563
562 165564
563 165565
1During a training mission on July 17, 1999, AH-1W 526, assigned to the 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade, deviated from its designated course without authorization and subsequently crashed into a dam. The crew of two were both killed. The wreckage was salvaged on August 9.

Details & Weapons

Left: The front view of the AH-1W shows a distinctive bulged cheek, which houses the BGM-71 TOW missile system avionics. From left to right, this AH-1W carries a 4-round AGM-114 Hellfire missile launcher, an M260 rocket launcher, an M261 rocket launcher, and a 4-round TOW missile launcher. Barely noticeable in the cockpit is the heads-up display for the pilot.

Right: In the AH-1W the co-pilot/gunner occupies the front cockpit, while the pilot sits in the rear armored seat.

Left: The NTSF-65 Night Targeting System (NTS) is a modification of the M-65 daytime sighting system. It comprises a FLIR, CCD TV, and laser designator/rangefinder. Along with the NTS upgrade, Taiwan's early AH-1W received the Cockpit Canopy Modification that replaced canopy, nose section, and front instrument panel. Under the NTS turret is the M197 three-barrel 20-mm rotary cannon. 750 rounds are carried aft the M197 turret. The maximum rate of fire is 650 per minute, although the gun is limited to single bursts of 16 rounds.

Right: The binocular sight for the NTS is located in the front cockpit. To the left of it are the control switches.

Left: At the root of the tail is the rear radar warning receiver. The tail protection skid also can be seen.

Right: Taiwan ordered 1000 AGM-114C Hellfire missiles in 1992 and 240 AGM-114K3 Hellfire II in 1999, to equip both AH-1W and OH-58D. Hellfires can fired by either the gunner or the pilot from the AH-1W. Note that the four inert rounds retain the U.S. Army markings.

Left: The AGM-114 missile launcher and the M260 7-tube 70-mm (2.75-in) rocket launcher under the starboard stub wing. On top of the stub wing is the AN/ALE-39 chaff/flare dispenser for passive self-defense. The navigation light and an NVG formation light can be seen on the wingtip.

Right: The M261 19-tube rocket launcher and the BGM-71 missile launcher under the port stub wing.

 Last update: 11/22/2008 TaiwanAirPower > Army > Top