Czechia receives six US military helicopters

U.S.-made Bell UH-1Y firing rockets. (Marine Corps)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The Czech military has taken delivery of the first two Bell AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters ordered from the United States, the CTK news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the Czech Defense Ministry.

The helicopters were delivered to the Namest nad Oslavou military airfield, located 30 kilometers west of the city of Brno. Two more helicopters of the same type and two Bell UH-1Y Venom multi-role helicopters are expected to follow by mid-September.

“The delivery of the first American helicopters is a significant moment for the modernization of the military,” said Czech Defence Minister Jana Cernochova, adding that the purchase will bring the helicopter fleet into the 21st century. With this purchase, the Czech Republic will also eliminate its dependence on Russian technology and switch to more modern equipment.

Czechia only had 17 Mi-24 and Mi-35 Soviet-made attack helicopters, which it acquired in the early 2000s, but some of those have been donated to Ukraine and only three are thought to still be in service by the Czech armed forces.

In response to Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Czech government approved the purchase of 12 new helicopters from U.S. company Bell for approximately €592 million ($655 million) last year.

The order includes eight Venom and four Viper helicopters. In addition, the Czech Defense Ministry has negotiated with its U.S. government partners to receive eight used military helicopters of the same two types to be upgraded and handed over to the NATO member country.

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