Textron‘s Bell Helicopter subsidiary expects to complete UH-1Y Venom helicopter deliveries to the U.S. Marine Corps before the end of 2018.
Bell said Thursday it will also continue delivering the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter, the Venom’s sister model, to the service branch through 2022. Both helicopters are built on the UH-1 Iroquois and AH-1 Cobra models, which are part of the Huey series used in the Vietnam era.
The modern units use 85 percent of their predecessors’ parts including the tail boom, engines, rotor system, drivetrain, avionics architecture, software and controls.
The company is also making efforts to improve the electronic warfare systems and external weapon capacity of Vipers and Venoms, said David Walsh, program manager for the UH-1. Bell also seeks to equip the helicopters with capacities to control unmanned aerial systems, he added.