Tuesday, July 13

Preview: Cobra's new clothes? ROCA's 35th scale Air Cavalry Brigade AH-1W Super Cobra NTS Update from AFV Club.

AFV Club's new boxing of the 35th scale R.O.C Army Aviation and Special Forces Command, Air Cavalry Brigade AH-1W Super Cobra NTS Update at first glance seems like just a reboxing of an earlier kit. There are however, photo-etch, resin, metal barrel and new decal choices that make this kit a fairly interesting (if not a very good looking) proposal. See more about this kit in our preview...

Preview: Cobra's new clothes? 35th scale Air Cavalry Brigade AH-1W Super Cobra NTS Update from AFV Club.

Air Cavalry Brigade AH-1W Super Cobra NTS Update.
From AFV Club
1/35th scale
Kit Number #AF35S21
AFV Club's new boxing of the  ROCA AH-1W Super Cobra `NTS Update` is an update (in itself) of the older kit from AFV Club no#AF35S21 Bell AH-1W Super Cobra of 2008 vintage. That original kit was a reboxing of the original MRC AH-1T+Gold Cobra kit  No. BA105. That kit has been revboxed by Italeri and recently Academy with the NTS update AH-1W Cobra for the USMC.
This kit features a few new additions to the NTS Cobra which we will talk about, but first, let's look at the ROCA / Taiwan's AH-1W NTS upgrade aircraft.

The ROCA Air Cavalry Brigade AH-1W Super Cobra NTS Update.
In 1991, Taiwan requested the purchase of 18 AH-1W and 12 OH-58D from the U.S. under the program codenamed "Lu Peng", to improve the attack capability of ROCA's helicopter fleet. The letter of acceptance was signed in February 1992 and nine were delivered to ROCA in April 1993, thus making Taiwan the second foreign operator of the Supercobra (Turkey is the first). Around 63 AH-1W helicopters were acquired by the Republic of China Army. 
Along with these helicopters, 1000 AGM-114C Hellfire anti-tank missiles and about 300 AIM-9S Sidewinder air-to-air missiles were also ordered. By April 1995, Taiwan had ordered another three batches of eight AH-1W, bringing the total ordered to 42. These helicopters were to equip to two attack helicopter groups.
In 1997, Taiwan made another request for 21 additional AH-1W to equip the third group. The contract for the first 9 helicopters was awarded on October 3, and that for the remaining 12 on December 19. Delivery of all 21 AH-1W had been completed in 2001.
NTSF update & ther improvements to ROCA Cobras
During their service with the ROCA, Taiwan's AH-1W had been retrofitted with NTSF-65 Night Targeting System (NTS) and the AN/ALQ-144 infrared countermeasure system. In the spring of 1999, two AH-1W helicopter simulators, worth almost $7 million, were ordered from Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation for training the crew.
The Ministry of National Defense initiated an extensive re-organization program in 1997, resulting in the establishment of Air Cavalry Brigades in the ROCA. The AH-1W are now assigned to the Attack Helicopter Battalion in each Brigade.
The Kit: 1/35th scale Air Cavalry Brigade AH-1W Super Cobra NTS Update from AFV Club
As we mentioned earlier this kit is an updated version of the original MRC/Academy kit with new and improved parts added in. These are not insignificant, with some great additions to bring the kit bang up to date:
■ Three barrelled  metallic 20mm gun.
■ Gun turret can be posed left or right / Up / down
■ Resin parts to reflect the  AH-1W late version.
■ Photo-etched sheets for the AH-1W late version.
■ The engine covers can be posed opened or closed.
■ The canopy can be posed opened or closed.
■ Including multiple air to land armed modes.
■ Brand new decal and painting instruction of ROCA.
■ Including opposing force painting instruction.

A look at the photo etch parts that give the shroud for the air intake of the Cobra
The new decal sheet that features the ROCA Air Cavalry Brigade and opposing force aircraft. Seven Cobras in total... 
You can find more about this kit on the AFV Club website...