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CAMP AS SALIYAH, Qatar (AP) -- A U.S. Super Cobra attack helicopter crashed early Saturday in central Iraq, killing two Marine pilots, the Central Command said.
The cause of the crash of the AH-1W gunship was under investigation, but it did not appear to have gone down as a result of hostile fire, the command said.
Names of the two Marines were withheld pending notification of relatives.
The Super Cobra is primarily used for fire support and security for forward and rear-area forces. It is usually used to escort other assault helicopters and their forces. It is capable of both land- or sea-based operations.
Built by Bell Helicopter Textron, of Forth Worth, Texas, the AH-1W can defend against tanks, helicopters and personnel. Each AH-1W costs $10.7 million.
In the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Super Cobras destroyed Iraqi 97 tanks, 104 armored personnel carriers and vehicles, 16 bunkers and two anti-aircraft artillery sites; none crashed or were shot down, the Marines said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)