This article is about the Cobra tank smasher - for the second Cobra night attack vehicle, see Rattler 4-WD.

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The Rattler is a Cobra vehicle from the A Real American Hero and G.I. Joe vs. Cobra series.
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Along with the H.I.S.S., the Rattler is the one other symbol of Cobra's might. For many years, it has been the evil organization's chief means of gaining air superiority. Even with the advent of other more sophisticated fighters like the Hurricane and the Stellar Stiletto, the Rattler has continued to be the most versatile fighter.


While primarily designed as a ground assault jet, the Rattler is also configured for engagement in aerial dogfights, though its high fuel consumption limits this capability. It has VTOL capability that enables it to respond for quick support. The aircraft has a maximum weight of 23.5 tons, and a maximum speed of 450 mph with a 300 mile average combat radius.

The nose-mounted 30mm seven-barrelled anti-tank gun can shoot up to 1,400 rounds while the turret-mounted 20mm twin guns can shoot up to 2,000 rounds. The Rattler's ordnance is impressive, being able carry up to 14K lbs on 10 external hardpoints (variable configured weapon loads). One configuration consisting of six cluster bombs, two pilot-selectable air-to-air air-to-ground missiles, armor-piercing Renegade missiles and two radar-seeking bombs.


Comics continuity

Write up

Animated continuity

The Rattler from the A Real American Hero animated continuity.

Write up


Toy editions

  • A Real American Hero (1984)
The Rattler was originally sold as part of the vehicle packages of the A Real American Hero series. It was sold in 1984 and in 1985. It included a Wild Weasel action figure.
Original 1984 blueprint from
  • G.I. Joe vs. Cobra (2002)
A recolored Rattler was sold as a Toys "Я" Us exclusive. The toy was retooled with a sound attack feature. A new Wild Weasel action figure was also included.
Blueprint 1 Blueprint 2 from


The mold used to create the Rattler was also used for the following vehicles:

  • Tiger Rat (1988)
  • A-10 Thunderbolt (1997)


  • The Rattler appears to be a YA-10B Thunderbolt II with extreme modifications such as:
    • The engines were moved from the tail to the wings and a third engine was placed on top of the tail similar to a DC-10 or MD-11.
    • All engines were given afterburning capability.
    • The wings can tilt to allow vertical take offs and landings. This is a real life ability called "tilt-wing" possessed by experimental aircraft such as the Hiller X-18. "Heli-crafts" such as the V-22 Osprey use a slightly different method of V/STOL ability called "tilt-rotor" (The big difference of course is that in a tilt-wing, the entire wing rotates, like the Rattler. In tilt rotor, the engines are mounted on the wing tip and only the engine pod rotates, not the whole wing).  
    • The 30 mm cannon was replaced with a laser-firing cannon (as is common for all of the small caliber weapons in the series).
    • A manned turret with a pair of defensive 20 mm cannon was added behind the cockpit.

External links


  • G.I. Joe: Field Manual Vol 1

Where are the schematics for this?!

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