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Alliances | Asia - Central | Helicopters & Rotary | Issues - International

US Transfers 8 More Attack Helicopters to Pakistan

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AH-1W firing TOW(click to view full) Pakistan now has 8 more AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters to carry its fight to the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants operating with virtual impunity on its rugged Western borders – if it so chooses. There have been rumors of an offensive due in Waziristan, following a long series of suicide bombings, assassinations/attempts, and other attacks within Pakistan. The last such offensive in spring 2006 resulted in over 2,000 military casualties, and ended with the government pledging non-interference and freeing 2,500 Taliban and al-Qaeda cadre as part of the “peace” accord. The AH-1F modernized US Army version of the 40-year-old Bell Helicopter design features a fire-control system with a laser rangefinder; a head-up display (HUD) for the pilot; an AN/ALQ-144 IRCM (“disco ball” infra-red counter-measure) unit mounted above the engine; a cable cutter above and below the cockpit to protect the Cobra in NOE (nap-of-the-earth) flight; and a long exhaust pipe to reduce the helicopter’s infrared signature. The U.S. State Department says the completely refurbished attack helicopters will provide the Pakistan Army with a superior capability to conduct night operations with a “modern attack helicopter” capable of delivering a variety of weapons. See VoA report. The […]

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