LIGHT ATTACK HELICOPTER
AH-6J is a highly modified version of the McDonnell
Douglas 530 series commercial helicopter. The aircraft
is a single turbine engine, dual flight control, light
attack helicopter. It is primarily employed in close
air support of ground troops, target destruction raids,
and armed escort of other aircraft. The AH-6J normally
is flown by two pilots.
Overwater operations require two pilots.
capable of secure operations including UHF, VHF,
and the Motorola "SABER" VHF. SATCOM is
installed on some aircraft and available as an option
on all aircraft.
Forward Looking Infrared
(FLIR). A controllable, infrared surveillance system
which provides a TV video-type infrared image of
terrain features and ground or airborne objects
of interest. The FLIR is a passive system and detects
long wavelength radiant IR energy emitted, naturally
or artificially, by any object in daylight or darkness.
Some aircraft may be equipped with the AESOP FLIR,
which is a laser range finder/designator that allows
the AH-6J to detect, acquire, identify, and engage
targets at extended ranges with laser guided munitions.
AH-6J is capable of mounting a variety of weapons systems.
Normal aircraft configuration consists of two 7.62mm
miniguns with 1500 to 2000 rounds per gun, and two seven-shot
2.75" rocket pods. The following are additional
The M134 7.62mm Minigun
is a 6 barrel, air-cooled, link-fed, electrically
driven Gatling gun, with a 1,000 meter maximum effective
range and a tracer burnout at 900 meters. The weapon
has a rate of fire of 2,000 or 4,000 rounds per
minute. The ammo can, 2 per aircraft, holds a maximum
of 2625 rds of ball, tracer, low light tracer, or
Sabot Launched Armor Piercing (SLAP) ammo.
M261 7 tube Rocket Launcher.
This system fires a 2.75" Folding Fin Aerial
Rocket (FFAR) with a variety of special purpose
warheads, including: 10 lb. and 17 lb. high explosive
(HE) warheads for light armor and bunker penetration
(bursting radius of 8-10 meters for a 10 lb. warhead,
12-15 meters for the 17 lb. warhead), with either
proximity or contact fuse; the anti-personnel flechette
warhead, filled with 2,200 flechettes; white phosphorous;
white and IR illumination warheads, providing up
to 120 seconds of overt light or 180 seconds of
IR light; the Multi-Purpose Sub-Munitions (MPSM)
warhead, containing 9 submunitions which are effective
against light armor and personnel; and a warhead
containing the CS riot control agent. The 2.75"
FFAR can be used as a point target weapon at ranges
from 100 to 750 meters and an area fire weapon at
ranges up to 7000 meters.
M260 Rocket Launcher.
19 shot 2.75 FFAR rocket pod; all other data is
the same as above.
AGM-114 Hellfire. The
Hellfire is a 100 lb. semi-active laser guided missile,
any known armor. Missile launchers attach to the
aircraft in pairs and are mounted on the outboard
stores. Each launcher can hold two missiles, for
a total of four missiles. The minimum engagement
range is .5 KM to a maximum of 8 KM. The missile
can be designated by any ground or air NATO standard
laser designator, including the AESOP FLIR (if available).
.50 Cal Machine Gun or
40mm MK 19 Automatic Grenade Launcher may be substituted
for 7.62mm minigun in some configurations.
engagement ranges are:
Minigun – 100 to 750 meters.
2.75" FFAR – 100
to 600 meters (in direct fire mode).
Hellfire Missiles – 800
to 8000 meters.
Due to weight restrictions,
armament/ammunition loads and fuel may have to be adjusted
to achieve the necessary range/endurance and weapons
loads called for by the mission.
The AH-6 can be deployed
by any Air Force transport aircraft. A C-141 is
capable of transporting up to 6 AH-6s and a C-130
is able to transport up to 3 AH-6s, with a rapid
upload/offload capability. AH-6s can offload, build
up, and depart within 15 minutes.
Self deployment is unlimited
with refuel support at ground or surface vessel locations
every 270 NM.