Bahrain inducts AH-1Z attack helicopters

06 February 2024

by Jeremy Binnie

Bahrain’s new Bell AH-1Zs and 505 helicopters lined up for their induction on 5 February. (Bahrain News Agency)

Bahrain’s new AH-1Z attack helicopters were formally inducted into service during a ceremony attended by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on 5 February, the 56th anniversary of the Bahrain Defence Force.

Bahraini television showed nine AH-1Zs lined up for the event at a location that could be identified as Sakhir Air Base, along with the Royal Bahraini Air Force’s (RBAF’s) three new Bell 505 training helicopters, as well as several AH-1 Cobra, Black Hawk, and AB212 helicopters. It referred to the new type of attack helicopter as the Al-Kobra Z rather than the Viper, the name used by the US Marine Corps.

In his speech, RBAF commander Air Vice-Marshal Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah al-Khalifa said the new attack helicopters were acquired under Project Bahrain Shield and had now reached “the peak of combat readiness”.

“It is with great pride that the Royal Bahraini Air Force is the first to receive this system from outside the United States of America,” he added. “It is one of the most modern and efficient systems in the world.”

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