Bell signs Czech AH-1Z and UH-1Y support deal
Bell-Textron will support the Czech Republic’s fleet of US-made helicopters through to July 2026 under a $22.5 million contract announced on 6 July.
The deal provides up to two years of in-country aircraft maintenance for eight UH-1Y transport, four AH-1Z attack helicopters and up to three years of in-country contractor engineering services for the government of the Czech Republic to be performed in Náměšt’, Czech Republic.
The Czech Air Force operates an ageing fleet of Mi-17 and W-3A Sokol transport and Mi-24/35 attack helicopters purchased secondhand.
On 7 July, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that his country would donate additional attack helicopters to Ukraine, and it is likely the aircraft being donated are the older Russian variants.
Fiala said his country will also donate large-calibre ammunition and help train Ukrainian pilots to fly Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter and other aircraft.
The potential Czech order of the helicopters was announced in May 2019 as an FMS agreement and Shephard Defence Insight notes a production contract worth $272 million for eight UH-1Y and four AH-1Z helicopters was announced in September 2020. Deliveries are expected to begin this year.
Following a company announcement that it had started assembly of the first AH-1Z for Czech Republic at Amarillo, Texas on 23 February 2022, the Czech MoD noted on 17 March that it was interested in purchasing additional helicopters of the same types.
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