Based on the AH-1J, a domestic version was developed, known as Toufan, developed by Iran Aviation Industries Organization.
Before the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran received active support from the US government, and possessed a relatively modern arsenal, including the F-14, F4, or F-5. Iran also received 202 modified AH-1Js, also known as “AH-1J International.” Iranian AH-1Js were demonstrated during the Iran-Iraq War. They were especially effective in anti-armor warfare, inflicting heavy losses on Iraqi armored and vehicle formations.
Into the twenty-first century, Iranian AH-1Js remain in service with the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation and have undergone indigenous upgrade programs. Based on the AH-1J, a domestic version was developed, known as Toufan, developed by Iran Aviation Industries Organization. There are two variants, the Toufan I unveiled in May 2010 and the improved Toufan II unveiled in January 2013.
The Iranian attack helicopter has a redesigned tadem cockpit. all-new forward and rear cockpit instrument panels for the crew of two, a new avionics suite, revised cockpit armor and a nose-mounted FLIR camera. A Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) has been installed to help manage the protection of vulnerable rear areas of the aircraft. Built-in GPS has been integrated to improve battlefield navigation.
Toufan’s main armament inherited a SeaCobra’s three-barreled 20 mm Gatling M197 gun mounted in a chin turret. Toufan also kept the wingstubs for mounting different weapons such as rocket pods and Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs). The Wingstub tips are said to be able to support the short-range surface-to-air missile “Misagh-2”, which is an Iranian copy of the Chinese counterpart of the US AIM-9 “Sidewinder” missile.
With Toufan Iran has proven itself capable of reverse engineering various types of complex systems, helping to maintain the combat power of the Iranian armed forces. Iranian media reported that the updated version of the helicopter, the Toufan II, employs Iran’s latest indigenous achievements in electronics, optics, laser and armament capabilities, said the Iranian minister, adding that the production of the chopper is a symbol of creativity and self-sufficiency in the face of the enemies’ sanctions.