|Type||Light Attack Helicopter|
|Seats|| 2 seats:
|Top speed||~ 240 km/h|
|Service ceiling||~ 4,000 m|
|Fuel capacity||242 L|
|Primary armament|| Main:
|Variants||MH-9 Hummingbird, M900|
- Light gunship
|«|| A light single-engine helicopter used in special operations by the US Army since the Vietnam War. It now exists in several variants used by both military and civilian transport. The AH-9 Pawnee variant is a light helicopter with the ability to carry anti-ground fixed forward-firing weapons such as unguided rockets and machine guns to provide direct air-support for the special operations forces.|
The Pawnee is a five-bladed, single engine, rotary-wing light helicopter designed for both observation and light attack roles.
Unlike the Hummingbird, it that has two stub wings located on either side of the fuselage where the side benches would be located. Each of these wings have a single pylon on them that support dynamic loadouts.
By default, the Pawnee has twin M134 miniguns and DAR rocket pods mounted on its stub wings. The miniguns are fed from a linked belt that has up to 5,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The DAR pods on the other hand, are loaded with up to 24 unguided rockets (combined).
Both pylons (1-2) can have their default loadouts changed depending on mission requirements, and support being fitted with any of the following types of munitions and weapons:
- ASRAAM (1×)
- Skalpel (1×)
- Shrieker HE (7×)
- Shrieker AP (7×)
- DAR (12×)
- DAGR (12×)
Mobility-wise, it handles almost exactly like the Hummingbird, sharing the same impressive manoeuvrability and decent flight speed in a compact and nimble airframe that allows it to perform fast strafing runs on ground targets.
However, just like its transport counterpart, the Pawnee has essentially non-existent armour protection and will be quickly shot down from even small arms fire if left exposed to enemy fire for extended periods of time.
And just like the Hummingbird, care must be taken when flying into the range of radar guided anti-aircraft weapon systems known to be operating nearby. The Pawnee does not possess any defensive avionics like an RWR that would be able to warn the pilots of being locked-on to, or of any incoming missiles.
The Pawnee has only a seating capacity of two personnel; a crew that consists of the pilot and co-pilot. It does not have the ability to carry any passengers, as both the internal rear seats and external side benches are removed to make room for the mounted stub wings and for storing ammunition.
The Pawnee is able to slingload and transport equipment, though it is limited to just:
- Quad bikes
- Supply boxes
- Just like the Hummingbird, the Pawnee's airframe is based on the real-life "MD-500" series of light helicopters designed by MD Helicopters, Inc.
- However, the Pawnee's role closely resembles that of Boeing's "AH-6 Little Bird", which is also similarly a light gunship that has had its transportation capabilities removed in favour of being armed.