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Rank VI USA | Premium | Golden Eagles
A-10A Thunderbolt (Early)
GarageImage AH-6M.jpg
9.7 10.3 10.0
Research:370 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:990 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game


The AH-6M cockpit features 5 displays of which 3 are adjustable.

The AH-6M Little Bird (nicknamed the Killer Egg) is a class of light helicopters utilized primarily for special operations by the U.S. Army. The prototype was designed to compete in U.S. Army Technical Specification 153 in 1960 for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) that could perform personnel extraction, scouting, and light attacks to replace the existing Bell H-13 Sioux fleet. The Hughes Model 369 competed against two other prototypes, developed by Fairchild-Hiller and Bell, for a production contract. The Hughes Model 369 had its maiden flight on February 27, 1963. The teardrop-shaped fuselage provided excellent external visibility, and thanks to its four-bladed, fully articulated primary rotor, it was incredibly agile, making it excellent for personnel extraction, scouting, and light attacks. Hughes was given a production contract by the U.S. Army in May 1965. A gunship variant, known as the AH-6, was painted black primarily for night-time operations.

Introduced in Update "Sky Guardians", the AH-6M is a twin-seat (gunner and pilot next to each other) light helicopter that can carry up to six passengers. With a diverse arsenal of weapons at its disposal, the AH-6M can conduct a wide range of missions ingame, from scouting to anti-armour. With its exceptional manoeuvrability and small size, it possesses remarkable agility and is capable of performing extreme evasive manoeuvres that most other helicopters cannot. With its thermal imaging device and ballistics computer, it can readily scout targets for the allied team and provide close air support with Hydra-70 M247 rockets when necessary. The AGR-20 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), which converts standard unguided Hydra-70 M247 rockets into precision-guided munitions, is also available for the AH-6M. This enables the helicopter to precisely eliminate lightly armoured targets from a distance, making it a more "economic" alternative while the AGM-114 Hellfire can be saved for heavier armoured adversaries. Overall, the AH-6M is able to effectively perform its mission throughout all ranges of engagement in a versatile manner.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 1 000 m252 km/h
Max altitude3 475 m
EngineAllison 250-C30
Power440 hp
Take-off weight2 t

Describe how the helicopter behaves in the air. Speed, manoeuvrability, acceleration and allowable loads - these are the most important characteristics of the vehicle.

Characteristics Max speed
(km/h at 1,000 m)
Max altitude
Stock 234 221 3475
Upgraded 270 252

Survivability and armour

Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear320 km/h

The AH-6M has no armour protection to speak of, although the airframe can catch some unexpected shots if you're lucky. It is recommended to quickly leave the battlefield in the shortest time possible to preserve your vehicle in the long term, using your high agility and small airframe size.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB9 599 → 13 189 Sl icon.png
RB4 333 → 5 953 Sl icon.png
SB5 592 → 7 683 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications286 000 Rp icon.png
426 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 400 Ge icon.png
Crew training280 000 Sl icon.png
Experts990 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 200 Ge icon.png
Research Aces890 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 260 / 390 % Sl icon.png
214 / 214 / 214 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
19 000 Rp icon.png
28 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods cd 98 main rotor.png
Replacing helicopter blades
16 000 Rp icon.png
24 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
24 000 Rp icon.png
36 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods heli flak jacket.png
Flak jacket
19 000 Rp icon.png
28 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods heli structure.png
Helicopter frame
16 000 Rp icon.png
24 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods thermal sight.png
24 000 Rp icon.png
36 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
31 000 Rp icon.png
46 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
19 000 Rp icon.png
28 000 Sl icon.png
330 Ge icon.png
Mods gunpods.png
Gun pod GP-19
16 000 Rp icon.png
24 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
16 000 Rp icon.png
24 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods ammo.png
24 000 Rp icon.png
36 000 Sl icon.png
420 Ge icon.png
Mods weapon.png
31 000 Rp icon.png
46 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
31 000 Rp icon.png
46 000 Sl icon.png
540 Ge icon.png


Night vision devices
Improves visibility by enhancing natural light or active illumination.
Thermal imager
Allows to see thermal radiation in the infrared range day and night
Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs)
alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}} alt={{{alt}}}

Suspended armament

The AH-6M can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4
Hardpoints AH-6M.png
7.62 mm M134 Minigun machine guns (6,000 rpg) 1* 1*
12.7 mm GAU-19 machine guns (1,200 rpg) 1* 1*
Hydra-70 M247 rockets 7, 19 7, 19
AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles 2 2
APKWS II (M151) missiles 7 7
APKWS II (M282) missiles 7 7
* M134 Minigun machine guns cannot be equipped in conjunction with GAU-19 machine guns on neighbouring hardpoints
Default weapon presets
  • 38 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 2 x 7.62 mm M134 Minigun machine guns (6,000 rpg = 12,000 total)
  • 14 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 14 x APKWS II (M151) missiles
  • 14 x APKWS II (M282) missiles
  • 4 x AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles
  • 2 x 12.7 mm GAU-19 machine guns (1,200 rpg = 2,400 total)

Usage in battles

The AH-6M is a great option for CAS, be it early game or late into the match. Its fairly fast speed, nimble agility and miniscule size mean it can utilize terrain cover effectively, and arguably second-to-none outside of true non-Line-Of-Sight launch capable vehicles such as the EC-665 Tiger UHT in this regard. Its payload isn't extensive, but this is a given as its small size is the tradeoff for this lack of ordnance.

When the AH-6M is stock, it may be a challenge to get destroy more than one or two targets at a time in Realistic Battles as a first spawn, as once you make your presence on the battlefield known by firing off rockets and fly over enemy vehicles you will almost always be machine gunned by the entire enemy team. As such, it is recommended to take the time to flank out to the less populated capture point or flank route, while if possible using terrain features to avoid any enemies noticing your presence at all. If you are detected by an enemy SPAA at the start of the match after spawning - something you can tell by looking at your Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) when it lights up - those terrain-obstructed flanks such as to the left of the A point on Normandy in the case of the hangar-centric variant or the right mountain range on Middle East if you get left spawn will increase your chances of getting to your targets with the element of surprise.

At this point, the AH-6M pilot is faced with a choice: grind the GAU-19 12.7 mm gunpods, or grind the APKWS rockets.

The case for the GAU-19 gunpods

The 12.7 mm machine gun pods let the AH-6M use the SLAP/SLAP-T ammunition-equipped machine guns, the first such vehicle in-game to have these rounds. While now no longer unique to the AH-6M as the OH-58D exists, these high penetration rounds let you easily go through the roof armor of almost any armored vehicle. Their high damage, however, is kept in check by the relatively short ranges you need for the helicopter to be in to effectively and accurately punch through enemy armor, as well as the inability to carry long range precision ordnance unless you carry one pod of each. However, what the gunpods lack in range they do offer in unique gameplay.

The AH-6M is a small, nimble helicopter, which is something not many other helicopters at this BR save for the Lahatut, which is derived from a common airframe as the AH-6M, can boast. Other helicopters like the Mi-24P HFS 80 (Germany), Ka-50, and AH-64s all grow both larger and heavier than their previous iterations due to increased armor, more ordnance and more advanced systems, making them less agile overall, and usually this isn't a problem as these helicopters were designed to provide medium to long range fire support. This creates a problem for these helicopters when put into the close airstrike role, as they are often too bulky to maneuver on the spot in tight spaces if they miss a pass on a ground target, often exposing them to enemy fire. The AH-6M trades the armor and advanced systems of the modern helicopter for a small silhouette, fast speed and high reactive agility, which lets the helicopter pull sharp turns and switch directions on the fly.

When played on cover-heavy maps like Sun City, a competent AH-6M player can fly around unimpeded as they shred enemy armored vehicles one by one, whereas a larger helicopter in this role would be spotted, be unable to maneuver out of the way in time and be shot down. The GAU-19 pods enable this hit-and-run close up playstyle, and as other helicopters can often feel like missile trucks with little difference between them, this is most definitely something only this vehicle can offer to you as a player.

The case for the APKWS rocket pods

What players want most out of a vehicle is often consistency. Players enjoy vehicles more when they can consistently and effectively do well in them, and the close-up playstyle is, while undoubtedly thrill-inducing, often inconsistent. Some games will be sweeping victories where you destroy 3 or 4 targets in a row with a single gun or rocket run, while in others a first-spawn SPAA or aware enemy may pilot snipe you as soon as you peek a ridgeline to start your attack. Compared to this inconsistency, the APKWS and by extension the Hellfires once spaded offer more laid-back, consistent results. When you are grinding the AH-6M stock, you will already have gone through quite a bit of frustrations due to those aforementioned issues just to get up to this point of choosing between the APKWS rockets and the GAU-19s. While the GAU-19s can offer the fun, unique gameplay you may have wanted the vehicle for, it could just also end up being the case that your luck just doesn't favor you and you end up spending all the time grinding the module only to see little use out of it.

APKWS rockets, due to their added-on guided nature, can act as intermediate long range weapons before unlocking the Hellfires, and can even be lobbed further out than Hellfires if fired in an upwards arc! Their damage isn't particularly noteworthy, as it's still a singular Hydra rocket, but against vehicles like enemy SPAAs this can often prove lethal. Once you unlock your Hellfires, you can then reliably engage enemies at a maximum distance of 8 km while still retaining the small, nimble nature of the helicopter, getting up closer to around 3 km should the enemy's air defense fall apart to support your team. Ultimately, the case for the APKWS rocket pods is a case about consistency; if you were frustrated with the stock grind up to this point, and want long range deterrence in some way shape or form, the APKWS rockets are for you.

Long story short, if you value the fun factor more than consistency, the GAU-19 gunpods will be a good choice, while if you want more consistent games the APKWS rocket modification should take priority.

Another major fact to consider when grinding out the AH-6M is to not carry both 7.62 mm gunpods with the rockets when stock. On paper this seems like the best loadout you can bring when playing without any modifications, but in practice the helicopter will struggle to take off and often spend several minutes simply getting up to the 100 km/h mark where it starts flying normally. This may be unintended behavior, as equipping only the gunpods, only the rocket pods or 2 rocket pods and 1 gunpod do not cause this much performance degradation, but until this behavior changes it would be beneficial to keep in the back of your head.

Once spaded, the AH-6M's high definition thermal imager coupled with the digital RWR alongside the Hellfires and GAU-19 options let you quickly get in and out of the battlefield while also being fun to fly; it may not be as technologically complex as something like an Apache, but its kit is solid and offers many traits you won't see on just about any other helicopter in the game.

Pros and cons


  • Very agile
  • High-definition thermal vision
  • 360° capable laser
  • Wide cockpit view
  • GAU-19 gunpods carry SLAP rounds that easily penetrate roof armor of MBTs
  • Modern digital RWR lets you identify and react to enemy radar based threats easily
  • Small size
  • CCIP for guns and rockets


  • No armour
  • No countermeasures
  • Limited loadout options
  • Cannot carry a combat-effective load of both Hellfires and GAU-19; players are often forced to choose one and lose the other


Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the helicopter in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the vehicle and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Vehicle-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the vehicle's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the helicopter;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

McDonnell Aircraft Corporation
Jet Fighters  F2H-2 · F3H-2
  F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II
Aircraft  ◄F-4F Early · ◄F-4F · Phantom FG.1 · Phantom FGR.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II · F-4EJ Phantom II · F-4EJ ADTW · Kurnass · Kurnass 2000
  Baz · F-15J
  ▄AV-8B Plus
Helicopters  AH-6M · Lahatut
  The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.
See Also  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

USA helicopters
Black Hawk  MH-60L DAP
Choctaw  H-34
Cobra  AH-1F · AH-1G · AH-1Z
SuperCobra  AH-1W
Kiowa  OH-58D
Little Bird  AH-6M
Apache  YAH-64 · AH-64A · ▃AH-64A Peten · AH-64A (GR) · AH-64D
Huey  UH-1B · UH-1C · UH-1C XM-30