Royal Marines Cobra AH.2, Operation Corporate, May 1982-Finished Pics and Backstory

Started by AeroplaneDriver, February 12, 2023, 09:55:31 PM

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As one of the pioneers of helicopter warfare dating back the Malayan Emergency, the UK expressed interest in the helicopter gunship concept first displayed in the Bell AH-1G Cobra.  Following evaluations of the Cobra in 1969 the UK MoD ordered 36 AH-1Gs.  With some in the MoD still skeptical of the concept budgets were constrained, so the order was for off-the-shelf US standard AH-1Gs, with no UK specific modifications.  The first 10 aircraft were delivered from Bell with the remaining 24 being assembled locally from Bell-supplied parts by Westland.

The order of 36 included 6 dual-control trainers, to be operated by a Training Flight, while the remaining 30 were split between an Army Air Corps Squadron and a Royal Marines squadron, each receiving 12 airframes.  The remaining 6 were maintained by the Training Flight and held as reserves.

Known as the Cobra AH.1 in UK service the Cobra proved popular with crews and a useful asset.  All AH.1s were upgraded in the late 1970s with many of the AH-1Q-AH-1E features, including the M197 cannon and TOW missile capability to become Cobra AH.2s.

UK Cobras first saw action in 1982 when 8 Royal Marine Cobra AH.2s deployed as part of Operation Corporate to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentina...

More to follow...

So I got that going for me...which is nice....

Old Wombat

Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est



If it aint broke ,,fix it until it is .
Over kill is often very understated .
I know the voices in my head ain't real but they do come up with some great ideas.
Theres few of lifes problems that can't be solved with the proper application of a high explosive projectile .


Makes SO much sense................  :thumbsup:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Quote from: PR19_Kit on February 13, 2023, 02:58:49 AMMakes SO much sense................  :thumbsup:

It does indeed. I've never really understood why the UK didn't go down the gunship path earlier ?
Decals my @r$e!


"laissez mes armées être les rochers et les arbres et les oiseaux dans le ciel"

Coming Soon in Alternate History:
-Battlefleet Galactica
-Republic of Libertalia: a modern Pirate Story


Good progress today.  I found a cheap Monogram AH-1S to donate a few parts to update the AH-1G/AH.1 to the upgraded AH.2 Cobra. 

One change is the gun. Instead of the minigun/grenade launcher turret in the kit I wanted to upgrade to the M197 cannon.  I'm torn between the exposed mount of the Monogram S or using one of the turrets in the Special Hobby G and just adding the three-barrel cannon.  The soft detail of the Monogram part has me leaning towards the latter. 

Also thinking on weapons load.  It seems a no brainer that RM Cobras would fly a lot of CAS, but in the RW Royal Marine Gazelles were used as armed escorts for cargo flights hauling supplies, ammo, and troops.  The results were fairly disastrous, but maybe a more heavily armed and armoured dedicated gunship would have had more luck.

For the escort role I'm considering the M61 Vulcan mount included in the kit, along with either a US rocket pod or a RN 2in pod.  This would be supplemented by a pair of Stingers.

Other options I'm looking at include a load of TOW missiles and rockets, or a ****load of gun pods. 

Anyhoo...for now, the options for the M197.

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Camo on.  A few touchups to go.

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Heh, nice one. :thumbsup:

Funnily enough, I have a backstory that has Argentina taking Hueycobras to the Falklands. One of them gets disarmed and used as a flying crane on the islands for a few years, before disappearing into a web a shady companies, and eventually being found in an actual shed in the former Yugoslavia in the mid 1990s, halfway through being re-armed with Soviet weapons.

I built the middle one to feed my BAS/FIGAS fetish, but the other two (Argie Army service and incomplete 'Mad Max' gunship) still await...
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

- Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman


Just reading the title, I thought this would be a corporate VIP transport....


Quote from: mexchiwa on February 18, 2023, 02:56:32 AMJust reading the title, I thought this would be a corporate VIP transport....

A bit of intentional misdirection.   I plan on changing the thread title when it's finished . 
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Down to the "weapons and Fiddly Bits" stage.  Hoping to finish her by Tuesday as I have to work nights the rest of the week and weekend and wint have any bench time.

Leaning towards a fun little asymmetric weapons load for Wessex escort missions. 

So I got that going for me...which is nice....


I can't remember when sidewinders were cleared for use from Helicopters, however saying that, a lot of stuff was cleared for use in a hurry duering the trip south.

My Ability to Imagine is only exceeded by my Imagined Abilities

Gondor's Modelling Rule Number Three: Everything will fit perfectly untill you apply glue...

I know it's in a book I have around here somewhere....