Jordan receives first upgraded Cobra helos

Jordan has received back into service the first of 12 Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters that are being put through an extensive upgrade process.

Northrop Grumman, which as a subcontractor to Science and Engineering Services (SES) is updating the avionics of the 1980s-vintage helicopters, announced on 7 June that the first have now been shipped from Huntsville, Alabama, to Jordan for weapons testing and final acceptance by the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF). Jane’s has previously reported that the first two helicopters were returned to Jordan in April, one of which featured on the static display at the recent SOFEX 2018 defence exhibition in the country.

The aircraft are being rewired and reconditioned by SES to ensure their quality and integrity, before Northrop Grumman integrates the new avionics solution. Further to SES and Northrop Grumman, Bell is helping with the refurbishment of the airframes while Honeywell is involved in upgrading the helicopters engines.

As noted by Northrop Grumman, its avionics solution comprises a digital Integrated Mission Equipment Package (iMEP) made up of a commercially available FlightPro Gen III mission computer, a full suite of liquid-crystal display units, an embedded software digital map and navigation controls.

“Scalable and fully integrated, the iMEP is based upon a modular, open architecture that supports rapid integration of third-party hardware and software. This flexible approach counters obsolescence and simplifies mission growth now and far into the future,” the company said, noting that the iMEP is also adding new and improved weapons capabilities to the helicopter, including advanced missiles, rockets, and a rotary cannon.