The AH-1F Cobra is an American gunship helicopter available NATO forces that requires the AH-1E Cobra before unlocking.
Armament consists of the three-barrel M197 20mm automatic gun mounted on the M97A4 armament subsystem. The Modernized AH-1F was equipped to fire eight TOW (Tube-Launched, Optically Tracked, Wire Command-Link Guided) anti-tank missiles, and the Hydra 70 2.75 inch rocket system. The Cobra could also disperse chaff and infrared jamming flares using the M130 general purpose dispenser. Some AH-1F Cobras received the C-NITE upgrade, which allow the gunner to designate and acquire targets during night or adverse operating conditions.
143 production aircraft and 387 converted AH-1G Cobras. The AH-1F incorporates all Step 1 and 2 upgrades to the AH-1S. It also featured Step 3 upgrades: a head-up display, a laser rangefinder, an infrared jammer mounted above the engine exhaust, and an infrared suppressing engine exhaust system, and the M143 Air Data Subsystem (ADS). The AH-1F is also referred to as the "Modernized AH-1S", "AH-1S Modernized Cobra", or "AH-1S(MC)" prior to 1988.
The AH-1S Modernized Cobra was redesignated as AH-1F Modernized Cobra, and could be identified by the air data sensor mounted above the right side of the canopy. The AH-1F Cobra was equipped with the Allied Signal Engines (ASE) T53-L-703 1800 shp turboshaft engine, gearbox, and transmission introduced to the Production AH-1S Cobra.
The AH-1F has a versatile loadout and is well-armed, but it is expensive and significantly more thinly armored than the more expensive AH-64 Apache. Like the Apache, it is a major threat to any ground vehicle due to its highly accurate ATGM attack, though the Apache's ability to use fire and forget missiles still makes it more effective in the anti-tank role. In many respects, the AH-1F can be used as a poor-man's version of an Apache due to its significantly lower cost (100 per unit, instead of 165) but similar benefits.
Its TOW launcher gives it incredible accuracy and damage against enemy vehicles at a long range. Its extremely effective at picking off any type of vehicle as a result, and if forward units can spot hidden AA with it, it can be used to clear out rear areas that might be well defended by AA units. Though it doesn't have as much range as many anti-air missiles, it is long ranged enough to be a threat to any unit reliant on autocannons for air defense.
Its 20mm autocannon has an extremely high rate of firing making it effective at fighting most other helicopters on the field (consider using it in situations where your forces may be being attacked by units such as masses of cheap Mi-24 variants), as well as giving it deadly damage potential against any ground unit being fired upon. When used successfully, the autocannons AH-1Fs are excellent at sweeping up groups of just about anything they are firing at. However, good judgement should be used, as other autocannon-equipped units can easily fire back at and will bring them down quickly, due to their poor armor. It goes without saying that getting closer to enemies also increases the risk of being fired at by anti-air missiles, which will usually effortlessly bring AH-1s down.
Like most dedicated attack helicopters it possesses rockets, which are supply intensive but give it extra firepower against any target type, and give it a longer-ranged alternative to its autocannon against ground targets like infantry and light vehicles. Though they are poor at clearing out heavier PACT armor they are an excellent addition for fire support, as they are good at reducing the morale of tank crews, causing malfunctions in them, and doing some extra damage in the process. Consider toggling rocket use on/off to save ammunition; the TOW launcher will destroy most vehicles in one hit, causing rocket use to be a waste in many situations.