Military aircraft such as fighter jets and helicopters are the epitome of aviation engineering. These beasts of machines when soar in the sky, can bring out awe in the hearts of onlookers. However, no matter how great they seem, they do come with a heavy price tag which is incurred during the designing and manufacturing process of these aircraft.
For our readers today, we have gathered a list of the expensive military helicopters in the world part 1).
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
The first on our list is the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk which is the least expensive of all the military helicopters and comes with a price tag of 21 million dollars.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was developed back in 1991 by the Sikorsky Aviation, a company which was set up for the task to develop the aging Bell Iroquois helicopter. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk saw considerable action of war during the 80s as it served the US military primarily during the Invasion of Grenada and also to fight against the warlords of Mogadishu.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was designed primarily for being a transport helicopter but can be modified with state of the art electronic warfare as well as heavy armament weapons system to be a deadly machine for its enemies. The helicopter also has the capability for being equipped with following missiles.
- AGM-114 Hellfire missiles
- AIM-92 Stingers
Black Hawk is currently being powered by two of the General Electric 701D turboshaft engines that grant the helicopter amazing speed along with excellent maneuverability in flight.
Boeing AH-64 Apache
The Boeing AH-64 Apache is the attack helicopter that is currently serving for the US army and comes with a price tag slightly higher than the Black Hawk at 31 million dollars.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache was developed back in 1981 and due to its versatility was delivered to nearly every branch of US military for engagement against enemy combatants. A typical Boeing AH-64 Apache comes equipped with a 30 mm M230 Chain machine Gun which is fitted next to the main landing gear. In addition to that, helicopter’s 4 hardpoints are consistent of the following missiles.
- For air-to-air AGM-114 Hellfires missiles
- For air-to-surface Hydra 70 rocket pods
Apaches are also equipped with a state of the art piloting system named IHADSS (Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System) which allows the pilots to have help in following tasks.
- Flight controls
- Weapons targeting by making simple head movements
Bell AH-1Z Viper
Next up is the Bell AH-1Z Viper which is currently serving for the US army since it entered in active duty back in 2000. The price of a single Bell AH-1Z Viper is about 31 million dollars which is similar to the AH-64 Apache.
The Bell AH-1Z Viper is quite different from other attack helicopters of the US army as it was designed in order to make precision attacks from far away. The attack platform of this helicopter allows the pilots to identify targets from long range and strike them down easily. For this precision targeting and attacking system, Bell AH-1Z Viper has been equipped with a wide range of long-range sensors which are all formed around its main Longbow Fire Control Radar System.
This system allows the AH-1Z Viper to guide a wide range of missiles such as the following to shoot down enemy targets on both ground and air.
- AIM-9 Sidewinders
- AGM-114 Hellfires
In addition to all these features, the Viper comes with75 percent less moving parts which is quite in contrast to the other four-bladed rotor systems. This allows the Viper to have a long term life.
Talking about all the US helicopters how could we forget about their rival in the field, the Russians. The first pride and jewel of a helicopter from the Russian military is the Kazam Mi-35 which comes with a price tag of 36 million dollars.
The Kazam Mi-35 serves as the primary attack and ground support helicopter for the Russian army. The main duties of this helicopter are as follows.
- Providing air support and cover for the ground troops
- Surgical ground operations
- Attacking enemy armors from air
The speed and maneuverability of this helicopter allow it to make quick insertion and extraction of the friendlies to and from the front lines with ease. As the Kazam Mi-35 is equipped with a nonretractable landing gear, it makes it easy for the chopper to land and take off from uneven surfaces.
The Denel Rooivalk is the attack helicopter that was primarily built to serve the South African Defense Forces. The price of a single Denel Rooivalk is about 40 million dollars making it the most expensive military attack helicopter on our list today.
The task to develop this primary attack helicopter for the South American Defense Forces aka SADF was given to a company named Denel Aviation. The helicopter after its completion was entered in active service and was operated at the SADF’s Bloemspruit Air Base by their elitist of the elite 16th Squadron.
Due to its speed and quick maneuverability during the flight, many aviation experts have dubbed the Denel Rooivalk as the “Agile Gunship”.
Denel was able to make this state of the art attack helicopter a reality after they made use of the early models created by the SADF themselves. The Rooivalk is powered by dual turboshaft engines for its speed and maneuverability prowess.