The Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of the Czech Republic has announced on 22 August that it has chosen UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper to replace its aging Russian-made helicopters fleet.
According to Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar, the ministry received two offers for the purchase of helicopters from the US government in late June. The US administration offered either 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for 13.2 billion crowns or eight UH-1Y Venom helicopters along with four AH-1Z Viper helicopters worth 14.5 billion crowns. The price includes maintenance and training of personnel.
The Czech Republic will buy the combination of 8 UH-1Y Venom and 4 AH-1Z Viper helicopters from U.S. maker Bell Helicopter.
It expected to sign a contract by the end of the year with delivery starting 2023.
The Bell Helicopter said on its Twitter account that “We are proud to acknowledge the Czech Republic’s decision to acquire the first foreign military mixed fleet of Bell UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters!”
The procurement will replace its aging Russian Mi-24, Mi-35 and Mi-171 helicopters. As part of the army modernization and compliance with NATO standards, the Czech Republic is planning to replace 30-35 ageing helicopters, which are currently in use and almost have come out of use.