Hughes ARH-34 Snoop Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter

LH-2000 four seat, unarmed light observation/utility variant

Hughes ARH-34 Snoop Scout Helicopter

by Tim Wing

I. Dimensions:

  • Height: 3.4 meters
  • Length: 9.8 meters
  • Rotor diameter: 8.3 meters
  • Weight: 900 kilograms (dry)

II. Type:

  • Design: Hughes Helicopters
  • Builder: Hughes Helicopters, Kawasaki Heavy Industries
  • LH-2000 Snoop: Four seat, all-weather light observation/utility helicopter
  • TH-2000: Four seat, primary and instrument helicopter trainer
  • ARH-34 Snoop: Two seat, all-weather light observation/armed reconnaissance helicopter

III. Service History:

  • LH-2000: Served with the Japanese Self Defense Force from 1998 until 2017; with the UN Spacy from 2002 until 2017; with the UEDF Tactical Corps from 2018 until 2022.
  • TH-2000: Served in the UN Spacy from 2002 until 2017; with the UEDF Tactical Corps from 2018 until 2031.
  • ARH-34: Served in the UN Spacy from 2008 until 2017; with the UEDF Tactical Corps from 2018 until 2026 and with the UEDF Civil Defense Flying Corps (CDFC) from 2024 until 2031.

IV. Propulsion:


  • Powerplant: 1 × Honeywell HTS900-2 turboshaft, 970 shp (723 kW)

V. Performance:

  • Maximum level speed: 280 kp/h
  • Maximum Altitude: 4,875 meters
  • Combat radius: 427 km
  • Useful combat load: 890 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,100 kg

VI. Electronics:

LH-2000 and ARH-34:

  • Hughes HCEP-5 with infra-red imagers
  • Night Vision optics
  • Laser ranger/designator

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)
  • Chaff dispenser
  • Flares

ARH-34 only:

  • Osiris sight/sensor Mast Mounted Sight (MMS); incorporates optical TV and thermal cameras, a laser range finder/tracker/designator, and multiple gyroscopes for stabilization

VII. Armament:

Two detachable pylon hardpoints. Each hardpoint can mount:

  • 1 x LAU-65 15 tube rocket launcher carrying 15 Hydra 70 Mk 66 Mod 6 70mm unguided rockets
  • 2 x AGM-114 Hellfire anti-mecha air-to-surface missiles (ASMs)
  • 1 × GAU-19/B .50 BMG (12.7 mm) Gatling gun with a 1200 round ammunition capacity

VIII. Armor:

The fuselages of all variants are composed of aircraft grade aluminum. On the ARH-34 variant, key components such as the engine, gearbox, fuel tanks and crew compartment are protected by titanium-steel alloy armor. The armor provides excellent protection against heavy infantry weapons fire and fair resistance to light mecha-mounted weaponry, such as the Zentraedi 22.3mm HE autocannon round.

IX. Development:

The LH-2000 was based on the Hughes 2000-series of light utility commercial helicopters. The 2000 series was designed in the mid nineties as a replacement for the 500-series helicopter. Originally the 2000 was marketed to the United States Army as a replacement for the Hughes MH-6 Little Bird Special Operations helicopter. Though the US Army was uninterested in the proposition, several foreign buyers expressed interest with Japan, South Korea, Argentina and Italy eventually purchasing them in the LH-2000 light observation variant.

The 2000-series continued the Hughes tradition of the flying Easter-egg, with a bulbus fuselage accented with a spindly tail boom coming out the back. The engine was mounted in the center rear of the fuselage, below the tail boom. The main rotor was a high performance, rigid four bladed design. The air intakes for the engine sport a pair of diverters to protect against dust ingestion and to lower the aircrafts IR signature. The engine exhaust nozzle was a large horizontal Hover Infrared Suppression System (HIRSS). Both features are interesting because they were present on all models of the 2000-series, to include civil aviation variants. This is indicative of Hughes’ true target market for the aircraft.

The UN Spacy ending up adopting three versions of the 2000-series helicopter. The first version was the LH-2000, which was already in service with the Japanese Self Defense Force. This version was an unarmed four-seater and was used as a scout helicopter and forward air control (FAC) aircraft. The sensor package, while adequate, was not as extensive as follow versions. The TH-2000 was adopted as the primary flight training helicopter.

The final, and most advanced version, was the ARH-34. The ARH-34 Blackfoot was a rival to Bell’s ARH-70 Arapaho in the US Army’s competition for a replacement to the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior observation and reconnaissance helicopter. Though the US Army ended up going with the ARH-70, the UN Spacy decided to purchase ARH-34s in leu of additional LH-2000s. The ARH-34 was powered by the same Honeywell HTS900-2 970 shp (723 kW) turboshaft engine as the ARH-70. Detachable weapons hardpoints for mounting rockets and machineguns were added to the sides, and a mast mounted sight (MMS) sensor package was mounted above the main rotor. The ARH-34 was adopted in UN Spacy service under the name Snoop, rather than the US Army’s traditional Native American Tribal name of Blackfoot.

All versions served with the UN Spacy from the early 2000’s until the UN Spacy’s dissolution in 2017. The type continued in service with the United Earth Defense Forces (UEDF) well into the 2020s as a front-line scout helicopter. The type was still in service with reserve units when the Invid invaded in 2031. The Snoop saw combat during the Malcontent Uprisings, where it proved its worth by hunting down renegade Zentraedi in the jungles of South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. The Snoop did not see much use during the Second Robotech War. The type rendered its final service during the Soviet invasion of Western Europe, where it was used in both the scout role and in the anti-mecha role.

Late LH-2000C variant, with rear seats removed to make way for additional fuel


Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (R) is the properties of Big West Advertising and Studio Nue. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Shoji Kawamori, Miyatake Kazutaka, Haruhiko Mikimoto and Hidetaka Tenjin

Acknowledgement is extended to the work of Egan Loo and the Macross Compendium. Egan Loo is given all credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the Macross Compendium that has been utilized in this publication.

Images Courtesy of Chad Wilson (Marchly) and the Macross Mecha Manual. Chad Wilson is given all credit for all images from the Macross Mecha Manual that have been utilized in this publication.

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2018 Tim Wing