Iron Heart Armament Iron Cobra Attack Helicopter:

Combat Helicopters are quite old hardware by the coming of the Rifts. In most cases, they were replaced by thruster type attack VTOL aircraft. Still, they can be extremely useful in the support role. They generally carry better armor and a heavier payload than a Sky Cycle while much cheaper than a full scale attack VTOL. As such, they are quite popular with mercenary companies. While they do have the vulnerability of their rotor, this vulnerability has been often overstated.

Iron Heart Armament produced the Iron Eagle as their main combat helicopter. The helicopter sold surprisingly well even though it was perceived by many to be overbuild. It does not carry enough to troops to be an effective troop transport and is usually operated by a crew of four. Several mercenary companies expressed an interest in a stripped down version of the helicopter. At the same time, there was interest in a larger helicopter which could also transport a sizeable troop compliment. A development program for both was started.

The Iron Cobra is Iron Heart Armament design fill the light attack helicopter role. It is believed that the name was inspired by the United States AH-1 Cobra helicopter. There are some similarities in appearance but they are superficial at best. It was marketed to be a bit cheaper than the Iron Eagle and there already were several orders for the new helicopter. There appear to have been no plans to develop a Naval version of the Iron Cobra.

Because the design shared many of the same components as the Iron Eagle, development was surprisingly rapid, a bit less than a year from concept to prototype. Two prototypes were developed, one fusion powered and the other liquid fueled. Both prototypes were extensively tested in simulated combat conditions where both performed equal to all specifications. The company prepared for full production.

Unfortunately, production was just beginning when the Coalition assaulted the facilities of Iron Heart Armament. All vehicles which had been under production but not complete were destroyed. As such, only a handful ever were produced. A crew managed to escape with the nuclear prototype model as well. It is unknown if the Coalition took any of the completed helicopters for their own use. Luckily for the handful that were sold, the fact that they do share many of the same components as the Iron Eagle has allowed them to be maintained.

Several Mercenary companies are looking towards seeing if another company would reproduce the Iron Cobra or a design extremely similar. Unfortunately, Northern Gun does not seem interested and Metalworks Industries is fully committed to produce their own Attack VTOL designs.

The main power plant for the Iron Cobra can be either fusion or conventional liquid fueled. The liquid fueled model is designed to be able to run on a variety of different fuel types. Range of liquid fueled model is the same as the Iron Eagle, approximately four hundred miles. Fusion model has effectively unlimited range although like the Iron Eagle, it does overheat if flown for long periods of time especially at higher speeds. Top speed is around three hundred miles per hour under normal conditions. Due to the helicopter's smaller size, it is far more manauverable than the Iron Eagle.

The helicopter is designed around a crew of two. One is the helicopter's pilot while the other acts as the gunner although also acts a co-pilot. Part of this slimming down allows the reduction in size and weight of the helicopter. Even so, armor is only marginally less than the Iron Eagle and armor around the crew compartment is actually improved. Sensors are effectively identical to those carried on the Iron Eagle. It does not have the full electronic package as the fighter. Radar range is about thirty miles and the helicopter does not mount a jamming system.

Weaponry is very similar to the Iron Eagle. The main gun is a 30 mm cannon but is a lighter weight model. Much of hardware manufactured by Iron Heart Armament is overbuild and the chain gun is no exception. In addition, payload is reduced to twelve hundred rounds. Mount can angle down forty-five degrees and up fifteen degrees. As well, can move one hundred and twenty degrees from side to side.

Missile payload is also slightly reduced. The helicopter carries eight medium range missiles in two pods with four in each just like the Iron Eagle. Mini-missiles is reduced however, from two pods with twenty-four each to two pods with sixteen each. Still, payload is considered excellent.

The only real complaint among some potential customers had been that they would have preferred a pulse laser to be mounted for targets which the 30 mm cannon would be a waste of ammo. With mixed success, some crews have tried experimenting with adding one to the cannon mount. Some potential purchasers would also have preferred hard points over fixed missile launchers. This is less easily solved without completely rebuilding the design.

Model Type: IC-22AH
Vehicle Type: Attack Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Gunner / Co-Pilot)

M.D.C. by Location:

IH-280-LW 30 mm Chain Gun (Nose - In "Turret")50
Mini-Missile Launchers (2; sides):80 each
Medium Range Missile launchers (2; Sides)80 each
[1] Main Rotor (4 Blades):80 (20 each blade)
[1] Tail:60
Landing Gear (3):10 each
Reinforced Cockpit:180
[2] Main Body:280

[1] Destroying the rear rotor or one of the main blades will cause the helicopter to fly at half speed, wobble and is -6 to parry, -3 to strike, and -40% on piloting skill/maneuvers. Smart pilots will land as soon as possible. Destroying the main top rotor will knock the helicopter out of the sky! Roll under the piloting skill -30% for a successful crash landing (due to the reinforced nature of the Iron Cobra, crew takes only half damage from an impact.
[2] Destroying the main body knocks the helicopter out of the sky and renders it completely useless.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing. Helicopter can land and take off from primitive runways.
Flying: The Iron Cobra can hover stationary, VTOL, and travel at a maximum flight speed of 300 mph (480 kph / 260.5 knots) with a maximum ceiling (altitude) of 20,000 feet (6,096 meters.) Cruising and attack speed vary, but tend to be between 100 and 200 mph (160 to 329 kph) and it has excellent VTOL capabilities.
Range: Nuclear: The nuclear energy source gives the Iron Cobra continual power but the jets overheat after 10 hours of continual use at speeds above 100 mph. or four hours if going above 200 mph (329 km). Going at 100 mph or below with occasional rest stops will allow the helicopter to travel for 40 continuous hours. Conventional: 400 miles (643 km)

Statistical Data:
Height: 13.50 feet (4.11 meters)
Width: Fuselage: 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) with missile launchers. Rotor: 44.75 feet (13.64 meters)
Length: 45.25 feet (13.79 meters)
Weight: 7,620 pounds (3456.37 kg) empty and 10,550 pounds (4785.40 kg) fully loaded.
Power System: Conventional Liquid Fuel or Nuclear Fusion (Should have an average life span of 15 years)
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment), enough for a few small arms only.
Black Market Cost: Conventional: 1.25 million credits. Nuclear: 16 million credits.
Due to small numbers produced, these vehicles are quite rare. As such, they are not commonly available.

Weapon Systems:

  1. IH-280-LW 30 mm Ramjet Chain Gun: Controlled by the gunner and has the ability to rotate from side to side up to 120 degrees. As well, can angle upward up to fifteen degrees and can depress down by forty-five degrees. Lighter weight version of the cannon carried in the Iron Eagle attack helicopter. The 30 mm cannon fires heavy ramjet rounds with armor piercing warheads which inflict as much damage as most heavy rail guns. The ramjet rounds inflict great damage and can quicky punch through the front armor of a tank or the main armor of a giant robot. Some crews add a light pulse laser with the ramjet weapon to deal with targets which the 30 mm cannon is considered overkill.
    Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
    Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for a burst of 20 rounds, 3D6 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the gunner's hand to hand attacks; each burst counts as one melee action.
    Payload: 1200 round drum magazine (60 bursts.)
  2. Medium-Range Missile Launchers (2): Medium range missile launcher are mounted outside of the mini-missile launchers. Launchers are used for a variety of purposes with the ability to hit both ground and air targets. Much longer range than either the chain gun or the mini-missile launchers, the weapon is primarily controlled by the gunner. Plasma and armor piercing missiles are commonly carried.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with missile types, medium range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), or four (4) missiles.
    Payload: 8 medium range missiles, 4 medium range missiles in each launcher.
  3. Mini-Missile Launchers (2): A medium sized mini-missile launcher is mounted on the sides of the helicopter. This weapon is mostly used against enemy aircraft, missile volleys, and other aerial opponents, or on strafing runs against troops and other ground targets. Like the 30 mm cannon, weapon is controlled by the gunner normally.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the total number of hand to hand attacks per melee. The missiles can be fired one at a time, or in volleys of two, four, or eight.
    Payload: 32 total; 16 mini-missiles in each launcher.

Special Equipment:
The helicopter has all the standard features of a standard aircraft (same as standard robot minus loudspeaker and microphone) plus these special features listed::

Combat Bonuses:

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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