The United States military has 5,758 helicopters at its disposal. However, not all of its helicopters are equipped with the weapons you usually see in movies.
Instead, far more helicopters are equipped to run transport or naval missions. And the ones that are equipped to participate in active combat often do so from a distance. They launch missiles at specific targets. Attack helicopter engagements are not the chaotic scenes of explosions and action that people usually think they are.
Instead, army helicopters carry out their missions with precision. They are swift and specific – carrying out missions whenever they are called on and then leaving after its done.
Different helicopter types are specified by the kinds of missions they perform. Keep reading to learn the different types of helicopters in the military, and how they keep soldiers safe!
Attack Helicopters: The Most Famous of All Army Helicopters
As the name suggests, attack helicopters are made to attack. The Black Hawk falls under this category. They are equipped with heavy weapons including guided missiles, machine guns, and rockets. They also soar through the air with thick armor that bullets find it hard to penetrate.
These kinds of helicopters are usually called out for two types of missions. The first involves eliminating a specific target from a distance – similar to drone fire. The second is called in when there is a heavy concentration of enemies in a single location.
Rather than risk soldier lives, attack helicopters eliminate enemy combatants and their equipment in one fell swoop. The helicopters can send large rockets into an area to clear it up so that soldiers can move in.
Transport Helicopters: Chinooks and Pumas Lugging Soldiers
Infantry needs to be transported before they can carry out their missions. This often means they need to climb otherwise unscalable mountains in severely underdeveloped areas.
The best way to move massive amounts of soldiers like that is with a helicopter.
These helicopters have specialized devices to help them land in difficult terrain. They are also roomier than their attack helicopter counterparts since they need to store people and equipment somewhere.
Maritime Helicopters: By Air of Sea, the Military is There
Maritime helicopters merge transport and attack helicopters for the sea. They are responsible for lugging equipment to sailors across harsh seas. They are also equipped with radar and sonar detection equipment to assist in searches at sea.
Finally, maritime helicopters are also usually equipped with air-launched torpedoes. These come in handy if a military vessel is locked down by enemy boats since it allows the helicopter to destroy it without risking damage.
Observation Helicopters: Getting an Eagle’s Eye on Combat
These helicopters are usually more agile than the above types but can be equipped with heavy equipment. Since helicopters allow for nimble midair movement, they are the preferred way to run reconnaissance missions. The OH-1 is one example of a nimble, high-tech flying machine.
These helicopters often include equipment like infrared cameras and other detection equipment. And since they are so nimble, they can move in and out of a combat area to gather information and spread it quickly to ground troops.
The Air Force is an Invaluable Part of the Military
With a large fleet of helicopters and airplanes, the Air Force collects valuable information about large swaths of land. They can also respond to heavy equipment fire in ways typical soldiers can’t.
The Air Force puts to use some of the most groundbreaking tech and techniques ever seen in the military. That tech helps to keep soldiers safe. They also depend on getting the highest quality, most durable parts to build that tech.
When we make our helicopter parts, we know we are doing more than building army helicopters. We are saving soldier’s lives. So contact us for your next equipment needs. We will make sure you are prepared for your next mission!