Tzefa D/E

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Rank 6 USA
F-5C Pack
This page is about the Israeli attack helicopter Tzefa D/E. For other versions, see AH-1 (Family).
Tzefa D/E
ah_1f_iaf.png
GarageImage Tzefa D-E.jpg
Tzefa D/E
AB RB SB
9.7 9.7 9.7
Research:380 000 Specs-Card-Exp.png
Purchase:1 000 000 Specs-Card-Lion.png
Show in game

Description

After the introduction of the Cobra, several upgrade programs increased its capacity in order to expand its lifetime in the Israeli Air Force. The Tzefa D/E was the latest version of the Cobra in service with the IAF, it was basically an American AH-1F with minor modifications. In August 1996, a shipment of fourteen US Army surplus AH-1F Cobra helicopters arrived in Israel. These helicopters were meant to replace the aging MD500 Defenders that were already in service with the IAF. These new models were mostly active in Lebanon providing cover to ground forces and engaging pin-point targets in the Judea & Samaria district and the Gaza Strip. Some of the squadrons operating the Tzefa during this time period adopted the RAFAEL Spike ATGM, which was a fire and forget missile, much more superior to the TOW ATGM since it was more versatile and had a longer range. The Tzefa was eventually retired in 2013 after being replaced with the more advanced AH-64A, also known as the Apache.

Introduced in Update "Danger Zone". The Tzefa D/E has access to very decent ATGMs for its BR, alongside a good flight performance. While its top speed may not be the best, it is very agile and will turn and manoeuvre faster than most helicopters, even those with a light airframe. Its cannon is a 20 mm rotary cannon with a very high fire rate and low penetration values, this means that using it against MBTs even from the top is challenging, but SPAA and other lightly armoured targets are even more vulnerable to this cannon than what they would be to a 30 mm one, thanks to its much higher fire rate. It also has access to thermal imaging system as well as countermeasures, and it is recommended using both chaff and flares in a mixed load out to maximize chances of survival.

General info

Flight performance

Max speed
at 1 000 m277 km/h
Max altitude3 475 m
EngineLycoming Engines T53-L-703
Power1 300 hp
Take-off weight5 t

The Tzefa D/E is a very nimble helicopter, being small and light which enables it to evade enemy fire effectively. It has an above-average speed for an attack helicopter, being able to maintain a consistent speed in semi-level flight. The only helicopters that will be consistently faster than the Tzefa D/E are the bulk of the USSR helicopters, especially the Mi-24 Hind.

Bear in mind that the Tzefa D/E does not like to stop when at full speed. Be careful when pitching the helicopter upwards to slow down or land, as the Tzefa will begin to roll over to one side when it begins to lose lift and speed and can flip all the way over. This can be corrected by ensuring that manoeuvres are gradual and not forced and sudden.

Do not drop the COLL from 100/110% to 20-0% as the helicopter will become unmanoeuvrable for a few seconds and begin to roll to one side. If not corrected, the helicopter will flip upside down even when COLL is raised again which can lead to a crash and the loss of the helicopter.

Plan movements in advance, and when preparing to land gradually reduce your COLL. When taking evasive manoeuvres, keep the COLL around 90% and never drop it fully to 0% if attempting to dive/roll as this will lock up the entire helicopter for a few seconds.

Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 1,000 m)
Max altitude
(metres)
AB RB
Stock ___ ___ 3475
Upgraded ___ ___

Survivability and armour

IRCM
Protects against IR-guided missiles
Crew2 people
Speed of destruction
Structural450 km/h
Gear420 km/h

In terms of physical armour, a "bathtub" of steel and bulletproof glass protects both crew members. The armour is mostly resistant to gun rounds below 12.7 mm.

The Tzefa D/E presents a very narrow target from the front, making it harder to hit with ground fire and missiles. Combined with excellent manoeuvrability at most speeds, the helicopter is able to evade enemy fire easily by weaving from side to side. Researching of the 60 countermeasures and IRCM should be prioritized, as these greatly increase the Tzefa's ability to survive anti-air missiles which become quite common around the Tzefa's battle rating.

It is recommended to carry both flares and chaff ("Mixed" countermeasure option in the modification settings) as you will be encountering mostly IR and some radar missiles, and 30 pops of flares/chaff will be more than enough if you keep your distance from the battle and use the TOW missiles to destroy targets.

However, the dated airframe means that if the Tzefa is hit by any sort of HEAT/HE round or even solid shots, the entire helicopter will likely suffer catastrophic damage. Another thing to note is that if the pilot is knocked out, the gunner cannot pilot the helicopter; similarly, if the gunner is knocked out, the pilot cannot fire the main armament leaving the helicopter defenseless.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB8 698 → 13 447 Sl icon.png
RB3 740 → 5 782 Sl icon.png
SB5 072 → 7 841 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications299 000 Rp icon.png
441 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 600 Ge icon.png
Crew training290 000 Sl icon.png
Experts1 000 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces950 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
100 / 300 / 430 % Sl icon.png
220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods jet compressor.png
Compressor
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods cd 98 main rotor.png
Replacing helicopter blades
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
Engine
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods heli flak jacket.png
Flak jacket
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mods heli structure.png
Helicopter frame
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine extinguisher.png
EFS
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
Cover
Research:
32 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
750 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
t_160_belt_pack
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
M261 LWL
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods heli false thermal targets.png
Flares/Chaff
Research:
12 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
18 000 Sl icon.png
280 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
t_160_new_gun
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods counterMeasures.png
IRCM
Research:
17 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
25 000 Sl icon.png
400 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
TOW
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mod arrow right 0.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
TOW-2
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods thermal sight.png
NVD
Research:
15 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
22 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
TOW 4
Research:
32 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
750 Ge icon.png
Mods atgm heli preset.png
TOW-2 4
Research:
32 000 Rp icon.png
Cost:
47 000 Sl icon.png
750 Ge icon.png

Armaments

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}}}

Offensive armament

Main article: M197 (20 mm)

The Tzefa D/E is armed with:

  • A choice between two presets:
    • 1 x 20 mm M197 cannon, chin turret (750 rpg) + 60 x countermeasures
    • 1 x 20 mm M197 cannon + 60 x countermeasures + IRCM

The 20 mm M197 rotary cannon on the Tzefa is essentially a slower firing 20 mm Vulcan with 3 barrels instead of 6. The "Armoured Targets" belt is the best option as it provides a good ratio of armour-piercing and HE shells (a 1/3 ratio, AP and HE respectively). Offensive belts should be unlocked but researching the "New Cannon" modification is not necessary as the gun performs quite well even when stock.

The M197 does good damage to air targets, but more precise aiming is required for the M197 as it can only penetrate late Cold War/modern tanks through the roof. The inclusion of a ballistics computer on the Tzefa D/E compared to the Tzefa A/B models is very useful as accuracy is greatly increased.

Accuracy is good even when stock if the gun is not fired in prolonged bursts which decrease accuracy. The M197 also overheats rather fast for a primary cannon, so keep this in mind when strafing.

Suspended armament

The Tzefa D/E can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4
Hardpoints Tzefa A.png
Hydra-70 M247 rockets 7, 19 7, 19 7, 19 7, 19
BGM-71C Improved TOW missiles 2, 4 2, 4
BGM-71D TOW-2 missiles 2, 4 2, 4
Default weapon presets
  • Without load
  • 28 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 76 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
  • 4 x BGM-71C Improved TOW missiles
  • 8 x BGM-71C Improved TOW missiles
  • 4 x BGM-71D TOW-2 missiles
  • 8 x BGM-71D TOW-2 missiles

When in battle, carry the 8 TOW-2 missiles on the outer pylons and the Hydra rockets on the inner pylons. The TOW-2 missiles will be your primary weapon for ranged combat. Once you expend all the missiles, get in closer to the battle and use your rockets to bombard ground targets from closer ranges. Users of the Tzefa D/E will be pleased to discover that it has a ballistic computer for its rockets unlike the earlier Tzefa A and B models.

Usage in battles

The Tzefa D/E performs very well in the role of an attack helicopter. Encompassing both manoeuvrability and lethal armament in one package, it is a versatile helicopter that can perform well and live up to expectations if used within its limits.

Realistic Battles (GRB)

The Tzefa D/E can be used to its maximum effectiveness in GRB, as players can make use of the TOW-2 missiles once researched in addition to the Hydra rockets if they choose. When going into battle, carry the 8 TOW-2 missiles if you have them researched, equip the "Ground Targets" belt for the 20 mm M197 cannon, and set the countermeasure type to the "Mixed" option. It is recommended to use the helicopter as a secondary spawn as you will have accumulated enough spawn points to equip the TOW-2 missiles. Don't carry the Hydra rockets on the center pylons if you don't plan to use them as they increase the spawn point cost of the helicopter and decrease flight performance by a noticeable amount.

To fight ground targets: After spawning, take off and skim close to the ground to lessen your chances of being spotted by enemy aircraft and helicopters. Fly around the edge of the map and start to turn toward the battle when you get near the rear of the enemy ground vehicle spawn, keeping an approximate 4 km distance between you and the battle. Keep a constant eye of your surroundings, and the IRCM will alert you if missiles are heading your direction.

If you are on an open map, this is the best situation to utilize your TOW missiles. Make sure you have a 3.5 km distance between you are targets, and hover as close as possible to the ground to remain stealthy. Choose a target, press F to enable sight stabilization, and track the target using your mouse. Aim for targets that are facing away, presenting their side, or that are stationary. Hitting a target should almost always guarantee an instant kill, as TOW missiles have a large amount of explosive mass and high penetration. Always take periodic checks of your surroundings as enemy aircraft and helicopters will begin to spawn in near the early middle of the battle. Once you have expended all your TOW-2 missiles, return to base, reload, and repeat until the enemy team is neutralized or until your helicopter is destroyed.

To deal with SPAA, keep a good "buffer distance" of around 3.5 km as this is the optimal range to guide the TOW missiles and you will be able to take evasive manoeuvres and deploy countermeasures with plenty of warning time. Simply guide the missile to the target, and pop 2-4 countermeasures and adjust your position if a missile is fired. Stay low to the ground, as this sometimes interferes with enemy missile guidance and makes you a harder target to hit.

To fight enemy jets: If you are approached by an enemy plane, get ready to deploy countermeasures as a missile may already have been fired at you if the enemy caught you by surprise. Disengage hover mode if enabled, reduce COLL to 70-80%, barrel roll and deploy countermeasures if a missile is in the air, and fire the 20 mm while you evade. While rolling, start turning the helicopter in the opposite direction so you can get the guns on the enemy plane once he passes you; use the rudder and move the mouse/joystick. Once turned, begin firing at the enemy plane and see if you can disengage by sticking low to the ground and by flying away. If the enemy plane is persistent, you may just have to wait for a teammate to assist as the Tzefa D/E has no air-to-air missiles.

To fight enemy helicopters: Firstly, keep in mind that the TOW missiles can be utilized against hovering/stationary helicopters that are not within optimal gun distance (over 1.5 km). The TOWs will deal with any helicopter quite easily with their very high explosive mass and damage, so don't be afraid to use them.

You will be utilizing your 20 mm M197 the most when fighting an enemy helicopter at closer ranges as it will be the most effective. If the enemy helicopter approaches and begins firing at you, start returning fire from around 1.5 km as your rounds are accurate enough at this distance to land some hits. Attempt to close the distance if circling and always strafe from left to right to evade incoming rounds. Rolling may be helpful but be wary as you have to reposition after straightening out. Continue to fire and use the tracers to adjust your aim. Aim for critical components like the cockpit, fuselage, and engines.

It is helpful to have a teammate in this situation who can help you as prolonged battles increase the risk of the helicopter being shot down by SPAA or being targeted by enemy jets.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Manoeuvrable, easily able to roll from side to side if COLL is set to 90-95%, excellent for evading gunfire from SPAA
  • Excellent top speed in near-level flight, able to get to battle quickly and run away from most other helicopters if needed
  • Versatile, can carry TOW missiles along with rocket pods
  • TOW-2 missiles lethal against ground targets (800 mm HEAT penetration) and have good speed (375 m/s)
  • Good 20 mm cannon, able to deal with air targets and ground targets effectively in both Realistic and Helicopter PvE
  • Has countermeasures and IRCM which increase survivability against missiles

Cons:

  • Maximum 3.75 km range for the TOW-2 missiles are less than USSR analogues (Shturm, Ataka) and put the helicopter in rather close proximity to the enemy
  • TOW missiles can be defeated by ERA by some tanks (especially CONTACT-5)
  • Unable to stop quickly if needed at the penalty of an unintentional rollover
  • Prone to rolling over and locking up if COLL is suddenly reduced, when pitching upwards at high speeds, and when enabling hover mode at high speeds
  • Old airframe, prone to getting knocked out when exposed to ground fire
  • Gunner cannot pilot the helicopter if pilot is knocked out, pilot cannot fire the 20 mm if gunner is knocked out
  • 20 mm cannon doesn't have the penetration to deal with armoured vehicles head-on, attacking from the top is highly advised
  • Researching takes quite a while even with boosters, especially with Tier III-IV modifications

History

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).

Media

Skins
Videos

See also

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Bell Aircraft Corporation
Aircraft 
Fighters  P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
  P-400
  P-63A-10 · P-63A-5 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Jet Fighters  P-59A
Export  ▂P-39K-1 · ▂Pokryshkin's P-39N-0 · ▂P-39Q-15 · ▄P-39Q-25
  ▂P-63A-5 · ▂P-63A-10 · ▂P-63C-5 · ▄P-63C-5
Helicopters 
Attack  AH-1F · AH-1G · AH-1Z · AH-1W
  OH-58D
Utility  UH-1B · UH-1C · UH-1C XM-30
Export/Licensed  ▅UH-1B · ◄UH-1D
  Tzefa A · Tzefa B · Tzefa D/E · ▅AH-1S early · ▅AH-1S · ▅AH-1S Kisarazu · ␗AH-1W
  ␗OH-58D
See Also  Fuji Heavy Industries · Agusta

Israel helicopters
Attack 
MD 500  Lahatut
Battle Hawk  AH-60
Cobra  Tzefa D/E · Tzefa A · Tzefa B
Apache  Saraph · Peten · AH-64A Peten