Bell Industries AH-1SV Super Viper Attack Helicopter:

With the introduction of high strength composites and alloys, the AH-1 helicopter line was finally retired in United States military service. Instead, the U.S. Army and Marines adopted the RAH-66 Comanche which had been canceled previously. Initially, the Comanche was not offered for export however although it was later exported to a number of allied nations. There were concerns about allowing the stealth technology outside the United States.

As a private venture, Bell Helicopters decided to develop a version of the AH-1 for export using the newly introduced materials. Multiple nations found their attack helicopters obsolete with the introduction of super strong alloys and composites and there was a ready market. Simply adding super strong composite or alloy plating was a less optimal solution although that is what many nations did as an interim solution. Several other new technologies were also under development of interest including fusion engines for aircraft. Because Boeing was already committed to producing the RAH-66, they decided to not develop a new version of the Apache using the new materials.

Bell Helicopters came up with the AH-1SV Super Viper. To simplify development, it was largely based on the AH-1Z Viper which had been the Marine attack helicopter previously. Due to stiff competition, the attack helicopter sold well but not outstanding. There were several competing designs including one based on the Eurocopter Tiger and the New Soviet Hind, Havoc, and Hokum helicopters as well. During the production run of the Super Viper, the design was improved in a variety of ways. Production continued until the Twenty-Sixties. As well, many of these helicopters were still operational when the coming of the Rifts reshaped the world. Several Mercenary companies have recovered these attack helicopters after the coming of the Rifts and operate them. Many consider the design better than most designs available after the coming of the Rifts such as the Iron Eagle which Iron Heart Armament produced.

The initial version of the Super Viper was conventionally powered with twin General Electric turboshafts, improved versions of the T-700 engines mounted on the AH-1Z. They have slightly increased horsepower, giving a slightly improved top speed of 215 knots and a cruise speed of just over 150 knots. The engine is also slightly more fuel efficient for around a ten percent increased range. Later versions replaced this with twin fusion turbines also produced by General Electric. In addition to giving the helicopter virtually unlimited range, the fusion turbines increase top speed to 240 knots. Like most early fusion engines, they do need to cool down periodically or they will overheat. Most operational Super Vipers at the end of the Twenty-First century were this model although some conventionally powered versions remained in reserve forces.

The alloys and composites used of the AH-1SV helicopter were not as strong as later materials. Still, the attack helicopter was far stronger than if the helicopter had simply replaced the original armor with the new materials. Later upgrade models use even tough materials, increasing the ability of the helicopter to withstand damage by around twenty-five percent. Still, it is generally not up to the protective standards of attack helicopters after the coming of the Rifts.

The initial model of the AH-1SV was armed with a lighter weight version of the 20 mm General Dynamics M197 Gatling Gun mounted on the AH-1Z. Special ammunition was developed for the 20 mm gun which kept the helicopter able to compete with modern combat helicopters. As with the AH-1Z Viper, total of seven hundred and fifty rounds of ammunition are carried. Later versions of the Super Viper replace the 20 mm gun with the USA-M38 Rail Gun. The rail gun has a longer effective range as well as being more powerful. A total of two thousand rounds are carried, giving a longer burst fire capability. Otherwise, the mounts are identical. It is capable of rotating one hundred and ten degrees to a side, twenty-one degrees up, and fifty degrees downwards. As well, the gun mount can be locked directly forwards. Both the pilot and co-pilot can control the mount although it is usually controlled by the co-pilot.

Missile load out is basically identical to the AH-1Z with stub wings carried for external ordnance with a total of two underwing and one wingtip hard point on each stub wing. These have beenre modified for more modern missile types. The wing tip missile hard points can carry one medium range missile or two short range missiles. There are two underwing hard points on each stub wing. Each of these hard points can carry two medium range missiles, four short range missiles, or a mini-missile pack with sixteen mini-missiles.

Model Type:AH-1SVOriginal Conventional Model
AH-1SV(V)2Upgraded Fusion Model
Vehicle Type: Attack Helicopter
Crew: Two (Pilot and Co-Pilot / Gunner)

M.D.C. By Location:Conventional Model:Fusion Model:
Forward M197 20 mm Gun (Under Cockpit):40N.A.
Forward USA-M38 Rail Gun (Under Cockpit):N.A.50
Missile Racks Stub Wings (2):50 each50 each
[1] Main Rotor (Four Blade):48 (12 per blade)48 (12 per blade)
[1] Tail:4050
Landing Skids (2):25 each25 each
Reinforced Cockpit:80100
[2] Main Body:160200

[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 AH-64 Apache, crew takes only 1/2 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): Both Versions: 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 air fields.
Flying: Conventional: Hover to 247.4 mph (215 knots / 398 kph) with a ceiling of 21,000 feet (6,400 meters) Cruise speed is 174.9 mph (152 knots / 281.5 kph.) The helicopter has great maneuverability and vertical take off and landing capabilities.
Nuclear: Hover to 276.2 mph (240 knots / 444.5 kph) with a ceiling of 23,000 feet (7,010 meters) Cruise speed is 195.69 mph (170 knots / 314.8 kph.) The helicopter has great maneuverability and vertical take off and landing capabilities.
Range: Conventional: Has a combat range of 471.8 miles (410 nautical miles / 759 kilometers) with ordnance load. Can fly for approximately four hours. The helicopter has approximately 20% better range when the Super Viper is carrying no ordnance. Can also carry up to four 378 liter fuel tanks (Extends range by 110.5 miles / 96 nautical miles / 177.8 kilometers each) or 291 liter fuel tanks (Extends range by 85.2 miles / 74 nautical miles / 137.0 kilometers each.) The helicopter cannot be refueled in the air.
Nuclear: Fusion power system gives virtually unlimited range but engines must cool down after operating above 115.2 mph (100 knots / 185 kph) for 10 hours and engines overheat after four hours if traveling above 230.3 mph (370.6 kph/ 200 knots.)

Statistical Data:
Height: 14 feet 4 inches (4.37 meters)
Rotor Width: 48 feet (14.6 meters)
Length: 58 feet 3 inches (17.8 meters) - includes rotors.
Weight: 12,500 pounds (5,670 kilograms) empty and 18,800 pounds (8,530 kilogram) maximum take off
Power System: Conventional: Conventional, Two General Electric T700-GE-410D turboshafts, uses aviation fuel. Nuclear: Nuclear Fusion, FTS-680 Fusion Turbo Shafts, Should have an average life-span of 10 years.
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: AH-1SV Conventional Model: 4 to 6 million credits, AH-1SV(V)2 Upgraded Fusion Model: 12 to 16 million credits. All prices can be as much as double normal prices under some conditions.

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) Gun Mount: The cannon is mounted under the nose of the helicopter. The cannon mount can move vertically and horizontally. Gun can rotate one hundred and ten degrees to either side, twenty-one degrees up, and fifty degrees downwards. It can also be fixed forward on the helicopter. Gun is generally controlled by the co-pilot but can also be controlled by the pilot. Weapon mounts can be used against both ground targets and against aircraft. Early models carried the 20-mm Vulcan cannon but was replaced by the rail gun in most models.
    1. General Dynamics M197 20 mm Gatling Gun: This is the original Pre-Rifts 20 mm three barreled cannon mounted in the front of the helicopter. Special 20 mm ammunition was developed for the cannon to increase weapon damage.
      Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
      Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the gunner (usually 4 or 5) - generally co-pilot but can be controlled by the pilot as well.
      Payload: 750 rounds (25 bursts).
    2. USA-M38 Heavy Rail Gun: A single heavy rail gun is mounted in the nose mounted turret replacing the 20-mm Gatling cannon in most models. Rail gun has greater range and damage than original cannon as well as having a much greater payload. As well, the weapon is more powerful than most rail guns carried by power armors.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,828 meters)
      Mega-Damage: 2D4x10 M.D.C. per burst of 20. Single shot inflicts 3D6 M.D.C.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to number of combined hand to hand attacks of pilot or co-pilot (usually 4-6).
      Payload: 2,000 rounds (200 bursts)
  2. Two (2) Missile Hard Points: The A-1SV Super Viper has two hard points on the tips of the stub wings. The hard points can only carry missiles, not bombs. Each hard point can carry either one medium range missile of two short range missiles.
    Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, Medium or Short range missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Mega Damage: Varies with missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
    Rate of Fire: Can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) missiles.
    Payload: One (1) medium range missile or two (2) short range missiles per hard point. Maximum total of two (2) medium range missiles or four (4) short range missiles
  3. Four (4) Ordnance Hard Points: The A-1Z Viper has a total of two hard points under each stub wing. The helicopter can carry either two medium range missiles, four short range missiles, or one mini missile pod on each of these hard point.
    1. Short or Medium Range Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missile and missile. One medium range missile may be substituted for two short range missiles.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by short or medium range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must all be same range missiles.
      Payload: four (4) short range missiles or two (2) medium range missiles per hard point (for a maximum of 24 short range or 12 medium range missiles)
    2. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. These pods are not carried on the body of the aircraft but are only carried on the wings. The aircraft normally carries missile pods for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles.
      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: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16 - all.) and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
  4. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff Dispenser: Located on the sides of the helicopter are two chaff dispensers. When tailed by a missile, a cloud of chaff and other obtrusive particles can be released to confuse or detonate the enemy's attack. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: Eight (8)

Special Equipment:
The AH-1SV Super Viper 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).

Copyright © 2012, Kitsune. All rights reserved.