The Czech Republic is set to receive its first AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters after the Czech defense minister Lubomir Metnar and his US counterpart Mark Esper signed a letter of offer and acceptance finalizing the foreign military sale.
The primary contractor delivering the 12 helicopters, 8 UH-1Ys and 4 AH-1Zs, to the Czech Air Force will be Bell Textron.
The company said it anticipates the delivery of the first H-1 aircraft to the Czech Republic will begin in 2023 and complete delivery by 2024.
“We are privileged to support the Czech people and applaud the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of the Czech Republic for selecting AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters.” said Vince Tobin, executive vice president of Bell’s Military Business.
The H-1 mixed fleet shares 85-percent commonality between parts, reducing the logistics, maintenance, and training costs of the AH-1Z and UY-1Y helicopters while offering a combination of integrated weapons systems to counter ground, air, and maritime targets effectively, Bell said in a release. The AH-1Z is the only helicopter in production equipped with the AIM-9 Sidewinder providing the most advanced air-to-air combat capabilities.
“This mix allows the Czech Republic to accomplish a diverse mission set, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to close air support and air-to-air warfare,” said Joel Best, director of military sales and strategy, Europe. “The advanced capabilities of the H-1 program help ensure the safety and security of Czech sons and daughters for years to come.”
The new helicopters are replacing the country’s Mi-24 attack helicopters that will be retired in 2025.