Without a doubt, the wars of the 20th century were greatly defined by the military technology used. Just as the stationary warfare of World War I was to a large degree a result of the cutting-edge instruments of the time (machine guns and artillery that could be deployed in large numbers), World War II already saw the proliferation and prominence of tools designed to avoid such a situation: tanks, airplanes, and automatic firearms issued to individuals. During the United States intervention in Vietnam, the technology employed consisted mostly of more advanced versions of World War II-era equipment, but there was one vehicle that made fundamentally different approaches on the battlefield possible: the helicopter, which came to be more widely used than ever before. Its most popular variant, the Bell UH-1, eventually became one of the symbols of the Vietnam War.
The UH-1 and its variants were in production from 1956 until 1987, with Bell manufacturing about 16 000 units altogether. Although it was eventually replaced by the Sikorsky UH-60 “Black Hawk” in the US military, UH-1s remain in use around the world, in both military and civilian roles.
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