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PANHA 2091 (Toufan)


Dedicated Two-Seat Attack Helicopter


Iran | 1998



"The PANHA 2091 Toufan is a local Iranian upgrade of the American Bell AH-1J SeaCobra attack helicopter with modern modifications to suit evolved IRIA requirements."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/27/2023 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Islamic Republic of Iran received much of its pre-1979 revolution military support from the United States of America. With that said, it procured many top-flight aircraft systems of the period including the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and the Northrop F-5 Tiger fighter series. One oft-forgotten addition to the Iranian military inventory became the improved Bell AH-1J SeaCobra twin-engine light attack helicopter of which the Imperial Iranian Army received 202 examples known under the designation of "AH-1J International". Deliveries of these rotary aircraft spanned from 1975 to 1978. These examples were later transferred under the new banner of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army (IRIA) and were put to good use in the upcoming bloody war with Iraq throughout the 1980s (1980-1988). At least 50 examples were known to be operational by the end of 2008.

Over time, however, these helicopters began to naturally show their age in terms of battlefield viability which prompted an indigenous program to upgrade the line using locally-produced parts and technology wherever possible. The end result has become the PANHA 2091 "Toufan", a modernized version of the original American Bell AH-1J "International" series based on the AH-1J of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). PANHA represents the Iranian Helicopter Support and Renewal Company and the program is known under the name of "Project 2091" with the nickname of "Toufan" currently assigned. PANHA has proven itself capable of reverse-engineering various complex system types in the past and has shown a penchant for helicopters in general - particularly American Bell models- and also serves to maintain these platforms for the Iranian military. The PANHA 2091 was unveiled in 1998 and is currently in limited active operational service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Army.

The Iranian version's most notable visual feature is the new bulletproof canopy design. However, a deeper observational dissection of the revamped helicopter yields all-new forward and rear cockpit instrument panels for the crew of two, a new avionics suite, revised cockpit armoring, and nose-mounted FLIR camera. A Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) has been installed to help manage protection of the vulnerable rear quarters of the aircraft. Integrated GPS has been integrated for improved battlefield navigation. The Toufan retains the SeaCobra's three-barrel M197 20mm Gatling-style cannon in its powered chin turret assembly as well as the landing skid undercarriage. The Toufan also keeps its short armament wingstubs intact for the fitting of various weaponry such as rocket pods and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs). Wingstub tips are thought to support the "Misagh-2" short-range surface-to-air missile, this being an Iranian copy of a Chinese copy of the American AIM-9 "Sidewinder".

The Toufan is driven by a twin turboshaft arrangement running through a combining transmission - perhaps based on the original's Pratt & Whitney Canada installation due to earlier Iranian operational and engineering experience with this powerplant. If this is to be the case, power will drive the same two-blade main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor (set to the starboard) found on the AH-1J International mark. Assumed performance estimates could include a maximum speed of 145 miles per hour with a range out to 373 miles. The operating crew will remain a pilot (rear cockpit) and gunner (at front) in the standard tandem-seat arrangement.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the PANHA 2091 (Toufan) Dedicated Two-Seat Attack Helicopter.
1 x Pratt & Whitney-based (assumed) turboshaft engines developing 1,800 shaft horsepower each to two-bladed main rotor and two-bladed tail rotor.
Propulsion
147 mph
236 kph | 127 kts
Max Speed
95 mph
153 kph | 83 kts
Cruise Speed
11,998 ft
3,657 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
373 miles
600 km | 324 nm
Operational Range
1,620 ft/min
494 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the PANHA 2091 (Toufan) Dedicated Two-Seat Attack Helicopter.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
52.5 ft
16.00 m
O/A Length
42.7 ft
(13.00 m)
O/A Width
13.1 ft
(4.00 m)
O/A Height
6,177 lb
(2,802 kg)
Empty Weight
9,987 lb
(4,530 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the PANHA 2091 (Toufan) Dedicated Two-Seat Attack Helicopter .
STANDARD:
1 x 20mm M197 3-barreled autocannon in M97 powered chin turret.

OPTIONAL:
2.75-inch Hydra-type unguided high-explosive rockets in launch pods.
5-inch Zuni unguided high-explosive rockets in launch pods.
2 x Misagh-2 (AIM-9 Sidewinder) short-range air-to-air missiles on wingstub tips.
Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs) (assumed).
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the PANHA 2091 (Toufan) family line.
2091 "Toufan" - Base Series Designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the PANHA 2091 (Toufan). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 20 Units

Contractor(s): Iran Helicopter Support and Renewal Company (PANHA) - Iran
National flag of Iran

[ Iran ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (147mph).

Graph Average of 113 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
20
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the PANHA 2091 (Toufan)
Left side profile illustration view of the Iranian Panha 2091 Toufan attack helicopter; color

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
CLOSE-AIR SUPPORT
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The PANHA 2091 (Toufan) Dedicated Two-Seat Attack Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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