Sources at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego released the names of the seven soldiers killed in last week’s midair collision under clear night skies between an AH-1W “Cobra” and an UH-1Y “Huey.” A spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar said the investigation is expected to take months and refused to comment on any possible causes for the collision.
While it looks forward to accepting its first TAI/AgustaWestland T129 attack helicopter, Turkey is urgently seeking interim helicopter gunships in the face of increased terrorist actions by the PKK and other Kurdish separatist groups. The situation has become desperate as Turkey's current force of Bell AH-1W Cobras has fallen to just six operational aircraft, plus a few earlier single-engine Cobras.
Iran appears determined to not only maintain its enormous fleet of hundreds of Bell helicopters in the wake of the ongoing U.S. arms embargo against it, but also to make indigenous and unauthorized copies of them. In 2006, Bell filed suit against Iran for making unauthorized knock-offs of several models including 206s and 205s.