Already impressed with the use of the present
helicopters such as the UH-1B Hueys and yet recognizing
their vulnerabilities, the United States Army
sanctioned the development of a helicopter that
would provide direct fire support as the Hueys
landed and their cargo of troops disembarked.
After a long development process, the US army
chose the AH-1 Cobra for mass production.
The AH-1 Cobra first went into action in 1967
during the Vietnam War and saw impressive all
the way up to the withdrawal of US forces in 1973.
They carried a variety of weapons that included
guided missiles and free-flight rockets and operated
in different missions such as fire support, escorting
other helicopters and operating in hunter-killer
teams alongside scout helicopters. Among one of
their most famous exploits during the war was
their participation in stopping the North Vietnamese
Easter Offensive of 1972. In that campaign, they
used their missiles to great effect against North
Vietnamese armored units.
Afterwards they would see action in later conflicts
such as the Persian Gulf War where they served
alongside the next generation US helicopter, the
AH-64 Apache. Eventually the Apaches took over
most of the duties of the Cobras but they remained
in use with the US Marine Corps.
The capabilities of the helicopter impressed
the allies of the United States and soon they
began to acquire it for their own uses. Among
them was Japan, which bought several Cobra helicopters
then began to build many more in 1984.
Though the JSDF never used them in their intended
roles against human foes, the Cobras would see
action as Japan’s great tormentor, Godzilla
reappeared after a long absence.
In 2004, Godzilla returned from the depths of
the ocean to once again menace Japan and seek
out to destroy Kiryu, the cyborg monster that
had been built by the Japanese with the bones
of the first Godzilla as its main base. As Godzilla
made the final approach to Tokyo and its citizens
evacuated the grand city, squads of Cobras flew
in scouting missions over the city and Tokyo Bay
as they waited for the arrival of Godzilla.