What is the difference between Bell AH-1Z Viper and Apache AH-64D Block III Longbow in terms of role?

When does someone use AH-1Z Viper and when does someone use AH-64D Block III?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I think someone uses the Viper if they're a Marine, and the Longbow if they're Army. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Aug 17, 2015 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


In terms of role, there is little difference between these two helicopters. Both are attack helicopters used for close combat and anti-armor. They area also capable of carrying almost similar weapons systems and combat commanders can use either of these for the same mission based on their availability(though this will depend on the compatibility of communication equipment)

Bell AH-1Z is development (albeit with significant upgrades) of Bell AH-1, the first attack helicopter of US army.

After AH-1, the US army decided on a dedicated attack helicopter (AH-1 was developed from UH-1 transport), which led to the AH-64 Apache.

AH-64D Block III Longbow is an advanced version of Apache with the Longbow fire control radar. It is under use by a number of countries apart from US Army.

The AH-1Z Viper, however, is used only by the USMC.

  • $\begingroup$ Aside from what was already mentioned, the major difference is where the aircraft are intended to be operated from. The AH-1, along with it's counterpart, the UH-1, are both designed to operate from ships, while the AH-64 operates from land bases. Operating from sea requires corrosion resistance, favors small airframe design, and emphasizes part commonality between the AH-1Z and the UH-1Y for logistic purposes. $\endgroup$
    – drmuelr
    May 10, 2016 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ @drmuelr I think the British operate or have operated their Apaches from ships. $\endgroup$
    – user7241
    Dec 20, 2017 at 12:54

You must log in to answer this question.