The Bell UH-1Y Venom (also called Super Huey and Yankee) is a twin-engine, medium-sized utility helicopter, built by Bell Helicopter under the H-1 upgrade program of the United States Marine Corps. One of the latest members of the numerous Huey family, the UH-1Y is also called “Yankee”, based on the NATO phonetic alphabet pronunciation of its variant letter. The Yankee lineage can be traced back to combat action in Vietnam, but today’s Bell UH-1Y is a thoroughly modern, marinized aircraft. The UH-1Y replaced the USMC’s aging fleet of UH-1N Twin Huey light utility helicopters, first introduced in the early 1970s.
The Yankee is currently in full-rate production, with deliveries to the Marines to be completed in late 2018. The Yankee was first deployed with the United States Marine Corps in 2009. The Bell UH-1Y is a combat-proven utility helicopter slated to support the United States Marine Corps global missions for the next four decades. The Yankee engages threats, delivers or exfiltrate personnel and performs under the most punishing operating conditions, making it the ultimate tactical utility helicopter. The Yankee is generations ahead of its predecessors in terms of effectiveness, performance, and safety. The Yankee operates in the most extreme environments, from Arctic cold to desert heat.
The Bell UH-1Y Venom variant modernizes the UH-1 design. Its most noticeable upgrade over previous variants is a four-blade, all-composite rotor system designed to withstand up to 23 mm rounds. A 21-inch (530 mm) fuselage extension just forward of the main door has been added for more capacity. The Bell UH-1Y Venom is a twin engine, medium class utility helicopter. It is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines with 1,546 shp each. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z share a common tailboom, engines, rotor system, drivetrain, avionics architecture, software, controls and displays for over 84% identical components (also part of the H-1 Upgrade Program). Compared to the UH-1N, the Y-model has an increased payload, almost 50% greater range, a reduction in vibration, and higher cruise speed.
Notable equipment on the Bell UH-1Y Venom are the FLIR Systems AN/AAQ-22 BRITE Star (EO/IR) fire control system, the Thales TopOwl Helmet Mounted Sight and Display System, the AN/ARC-210 Digital Communication System, and the Raytheon AN/APX-100 Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) transponder. The primary navigation system is the CN-1689(V)2/ASN Embedded GPS/INS supported by the AN/ARN-153(V) TACAN System and DF-301E VHF/UHF Direction Finder. Aircraft countermeasures include the BAE Systems AN/ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser System, the AN/AVR-2A Laser Warning System, the AN/APR-39A Radar Warning Receiver, and AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System.
The Bell UH-1Y Venom can be armed with 2 external stations for 70 mm (2.75 in) Hydra 70 or APKWS II rockets. The helicopter can be fitted with the seven-tube LAU-68, the 19-tube LAU-61 and, with additional software, the seven-tube M-261 or 19-tube M-260 for remote set fusing. The machine guns selected for the UH-1Y are the M-240D, GAU-16 and GAU-17A. The 7.62mm GAU-17A aircraft machine gun can be fired by either member of crew when in the forward fixed position. The GAU-17A is air-cooled, multi-barreled and electrically powered with a firing rate up to 3,000 rounds a minute. The 0.50-calibre Browning GAU-16A gun is belt fed, recoil operated and air-cooled. The rate of fire is from 750 to 850 rounds a minute. The 7.62mm M-240D is a belt fed, recoil operated, air-cooled machine gun with a rate of fire of 750 to 950 rounds a minute.