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Bell AH-1S Hueycobra serial 115 at the Hatzerim Museum

Unit History

160 Squadron

(160 Tayeset "Ha'Koofroot Ha'Aponiet" - The Northern Cobra Squadron)
Role: Attack Helicopter

A second attack helicopter squadron was formed in April 1980 alongside 161 sqn. The identity of this unit is 160 Squadron.

The initial strength comprised fifteen MD500s and three AH-1S. The unit included some MD500D helicopters without TOW missile launchers and sighting equipment, possibly for the pilot training role. It is not yet known whether these were converted TOW examples or a separate delivery.

The existing strength was supplemented by a batch of nine AH-1F Hueycobras delivered from 1981. A second batch of eight AH-1Fs was received in 1985, followed by four more in 1987 when the original AH-1S examples were consolidated into 161 sqn.

Although intended primarily for the anti-tank role, the helicopters found few such targets during the Lebanon War of June 1982, and were mostly used for close air support operations. Attacks on PLO targets with the helmet aimed 20mm gun and highly accurate TOW missile of the AH-1 proved extremely effective. However, two AH-1F Hueycobras were lost to AAA fire in the course of the war. Since 1982, the Hueycobras have frequently seen action in Southern Lebanon against terrorist targets.

It is known that the AH-1Fs have received a number of avionics upgrades since delivery, particularly in the field of night vision systems.

Close-up of the unit marking

AH-1F serial 397 and AH-1E 234.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)
AH-1F serial 361 leads AH-1E 236. Note the lack of a low-speed sensor probe on the AH-1E.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)
AH-1F serial 361 hovers over the sea.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Palmachim April 1980-Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
MD500/TOW10April 80 - 19851216
H500MD5?? - 19851935
AH-1G*3April 80 - 19871115
AH-1F211981 - Present1235,353,356,501, 514
* Converted to AH-1S then to AH-1E

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1 Figure 2
Figures 1 & 2 courtesy of Amos Dor

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First Created: 9 January 1998 - Last Revised: 30 March 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: