During the Vietnam War, it became apparent to the US Army that troop carrying UH-1 Hueys were vulnerable to ground fire. Bell Helicopter developed a version that became known as the AH-1G which was delivered to Southeast Asia in 1967 where is saw heavy combat.

From Iron Mike in Yankee Air Pirate 3  (こんにちは, Mike.)

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From Blue Max in Yankee Air Pirate 3 in which the HEAT-firing helicopter gunship met tanks in battle for the first time.

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The original design has changed over the decades. One version, the AH-1F, featured a chain gun in the nose turret, a change that stuck.

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Once the main attack helicopter for the US Army, it has been replaced by the AH-64 Apache. The design lives on in various parts of the world in various forms. Here is the modified AH1J of the IRIAA.

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Always Faithful, the US Marines still use the Cobra and have through the Super Cobra, the AH-1W, but it is now being replaced by what may be the final iteration of the Cobra, the AH-1Z Viper, better known as the Zulu.

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The Zulu packs an enormous punch almost equal to that of the Apache at well below the Apache’s cost. It also has the capacity to take AIM-9 Sidewinders into the battle.

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Here shooting down a target drone.

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The Marines was declared combat ready in 2010  and will continue to receive them until 2019 to replace the AH-1W. The Zulu promises to be the war horse for the US Marines far into the future and in all parts of the world.

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(I can say from personal experience if you are ever in a bad spot and  see Snakes overhead, have faith. You are safe and your enemy is not.)