MH-6j / AH-6j Little Bird Helicopter
The AH-6j / MH-6j 'Little Bird' are light attack/utility helicopters operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Both the AH-6 and MH-6 are based around a civilian airframe (MD530F), with extensive modifications in terms of avionics and provisions for the mounting of specialized equipment and weapons systems.
Little Bird - Roles
AH-6 - Role
The AH-6 is flown as an attack helicopter, usually toting two M134 7.62 miniguns and 7-tube FFAR rocket pods, firing high explosive and/or fletchette anti-personnel rounds. SOAR AH-6s may be used in pre-planned attacks, close air support or in the escort role, protecting other SOAR birds.
MH-6 - Role
The MH-6 is unarmed and is designed as a troop transport helicopter. It's small size allows it to land on small roofs or down in narrow streets.
Little Bird - Variants
The Night Stalkers fly several versions of the Little Bird. All variants feature a 5-bladed main rotor, APR 39 radar warning receiver, secure comms, GPS navigation, can be fitted with a forward looking infrared (FLIR) pod and feature Night Vision Goggles-compatible cockpits.
Little Birds can be rapidly 'broken down' and air transported in cargo planes, then quickly built up at their destination.
AH-6/MH-6 - Crew
Although Little Birds can be crewed by just one pilot, it's more common that they are crewed by 2 Night Stalkers:
A MH-6M pictured in-flight, carrying Rangers strapped to benches along the fuselage.
photo courtesy US Army
Little Bird Resources
FEATURED LITTLE BIRD PHOTO
A pair of AH-6j gunships take off from an aircraft carrier.
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