AH-1S Attack Helicopter 対戦車ヘリコプターAH-1S [Reiwa Era]

AH-1S Attack Helicopter ["Shin" Series]
AH-1S Attack Helicopter

Height : 4.19 meters
Length : 16.16 meters
Mass : 4.5 tons

Powers / Weapons

Flight at 231 kilometers per hour; 20mm M197 gatling gun; BGM-71 missiles; 70mm rockets


Shin Godzilla (2016)

Series // Reiwa

Sound Effect


In 1977, Japan's ground self defense force (GSDF) purchased their first AH series vehicle, the AH-1E. Initially the purchase was for research purposes, although as the 1980's rolled around the GSDF started to acquire the attack helicopters for defense. The helicopter of choice was the AH-1S, and by 2015 the GSDF was in possession of 60 AH-1S helicopters.

In 2016, the crafts would be the first line of defense against a creature that suddenly appeared in Japan. At first appearing in Tokyo Bay, the monster eventually evolved to travel on land. Kamata was where the creature first ventured out of the water, sending Japanese citizens fleeing in chaos.

The beast was projected to reach Tokyo in three hours, forcing the government to act. Their initial response was to set up evacuation zones and civilian transport, although congestion rendered these efforts moot and citizens were forced to evacuate on foot. Unopposed, the creature made its way to Shinagawa, destroying vehicles and knocking over buildings in its direct path. Realizing the severity of the situation, the Public Safety Commission successfully convinced a reluctant prime minster to deploy the self defense force.

AH-1S Attack Helicopter ["Shin" Series]AH-1S attack helicopters were selected by the Nerima First Division as the method to confront the beast. They were chosen for their ability to reach the creature quickly and lesser firepower versus the more destructive F-2 Jets. Despite this, a concern of collateral damage existed, making the prime minister hesitant to approve the use of the AH-1S crafts. Eventually he agreed, though, and four of the helicopters were mobilized at the Kisarazu Base in Chiba. Flown by the second flying squadron, the copters rushed to meet their foe.

However, before the fleet arrived, the beast had collapsed and begun to transform. Changing into a new form, the monster grew by 40%, now standing 57 meters tall. Godzilla now stood, threatening Japan. Surprised by this new form, the squad hesitated, but were given initial approval to attack. As their 20mm gatling gun was readied, the attack was called off, halted by the appearance of civilians in the area. While the AH-1S helicopters aborted their assault, Godzilla, starting to overheat, fled for Tokyo Bay.

This was far from the last Japan would see of Godzilla. Eventually the beast emerged again, this time in Sagami Bay. Now in its fourth form, the King of the Monsters was a towering 118.5 meters tall. The beast advanced on Kanagawa, heading toward Tokyo. With the severity of the situation clear, the government granted the self defense force unrestricted weapon use in confronting Godzilla. F-2 fighters, tanks and artillery were readied. The first line of defense, though, would again by attack helicopters. For this mission, the AH-1S helicopters and AH-64D Apaches were both dispatched.

Flying over Musashi-Kosugi Station, the AH-1S helicopters were the first to open fire. Unleashing their 20mm gatling gun, the firepower rained onto Godzilla's head, yet was harmlessly deflected due to the monster's thick hide. The AH-64D Apaches next used their 30mm guns, but to the same effect.

Realizing more firepower was needed, missiles were approved for use. Mobilizing 700 meters away from Godzilla, the AH-1S and AH-64D helicopters launched their explosive firepower against the mammoth creature. Aimed at the beast's face, the missiles struck with destructive force. However, Godzilla emerged unscathed from the attack. Unable to assist further, the AH-1S and Apache helicopters disembarked, as the military moved toward the second defense phase involving jets, tanks and artillery.

Powers / Weapons
Flight at 255 kilometers per hour

Flight at 231 kilometers per hour

The AH-1S attack helicopter could fly at 231 kilometers per hour, roughly 125 knots.

These flight capabilities allowed the crafts to stay at a safe distance away from Godzilla, engaging the target without concern for the beast advancing too quickly.

20mm Gatling Gun

20mm M197 Gatling Gun

The helicopter was equipped with a M197 20mm gatling gun. With three chambers, the gun could quickly fire on a target in rapid succession.

During their first confrontation with Godzilla, the helicopters narrowly avoided using their guns. When they faced Godzilla in his fourth form, the vehicles didn't hold back on lacing the King of the Monsters with their machine gun fire. However, the ammunition harmlessly bounced off Godzilla's thick hide.

BGM-71 Missiles

BGM-71 Missiles

Equipped on both sides of the attack helicopter were pods for four BGM-71 missiles, making a total of eight. These TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) missiles were intended as anti-tank weapons.

The missiles were used against Godzilla after the gatling gun proved ineffective. Joined by the AH-64D Apaches, the helicopters unleashed their missiles onto the King of the Monsters, although did little to halt his advance.

70mm Rockets

70mm Rockets

The AH-1S attack helicopter featured 38 pods for 70mm rockets, with 19 located on each side of the craft. They were positioned right next to the BGM-71 missiles.

The helicopters did not use their rockets against Godzilla, favoring the more powerful missiles instead.

Background and Trivia
  • The Japanese Ministry of Defense noted that it had 60 AH-1S attack helicopters as of March 2015.
  • Although in reference to the Heisei films, the Toho Special Effects: All Kaiju Illustrated Encyclopedia (ISBN: 9784096820902) lists the flight speed of the AH-1S Attack Helicopter as 231 kilometers per hour. In addition, it lists the height as 4.19 meters, the width as 3.28 meters, the length as 16.16 meters and the overall weight as 4.5 tons.