Bell starts AH-1Z production for Czech Republic
Bell has started production of the Czech Republic's AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter at the manufacturers Amarillo, Texas facility.
The move follows on from the company producing Prague's UH-1Y Vemon utility helicopter, with both rotorcraft on order as part of a mixed fleet FMS package.
'Bell began production on the Czech Republic UH-1Y in 2021, marking the first production for an international operator of the UH-1Y,' noted the manufacturer in a 23 February company statement.
'The Czech Republic’s purchase of both the AH-1Z and UH-1Y takes full advantage of the 85 percent commonality between parts and enabling full mission capabilities between both aircraft.'
Bell also noted that in terms of total H-1 production it is 'on track' to manufacture 217 AH-1Zs and 168 UH-1Ys.
Other Viper export customers include Bahrain and Pakistan, though an order from the latter has been on hold since former US President Donald Trump suspended security assistance to the country, accusing it in a January 2018 social media post of providing a 'safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan'.
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