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Czech Republic receives first AH-1Z Viper helicopters

18th August 2023 - 17:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The first two Czech AH-1Z Vipers arrived in the country in mid-August. (Photo: US Naval Air Systems Command)

The Czech Republic has taken delivery of its first AH-1Z Vipers as part of a partnership with the USMC H-1 Light/Attack Helicopter programme.

The first two Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters for the Czech Republic Air Force have arrived in country with acceptance into service expected over the next 12 months.

The delivery is part of a partnership with the USMC H-1 Light/Attack Helicopter programme office (PMA-276) and industry partner, Bell, under an deal signed in 2019 for four AH-1Z and eight UH-1Y helicopters.

From a training perspective, an initial team of Czech aircrew and maintainers had the opportunity to complete the Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 training pipeline, graduating earlier this year.

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Later this year, H-1 crews will train alongside representatives from Bell, and its supplier, Pinnacle Solutions, through a ‘train-the-trainer’ model. Pilots, crew chiefs and maintainers will learn the additional skills required to operate and sustain its fleet of AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters, and train other members of its force.

In addition, the country has a flight training device (FTD) to support skills development, offering access to the controls and weapon systems for preparation purposes. 

The Czech Republic FTD broke ground in March 2023 and construction will finish in time to begin training in the next few months.

Now, with the aircraft in-country, the Czech Air Force can begin the acceptance process and over the next 12 months, additional aircraft will arrive based on the production schedule.

The Czech Air Force squadron is expected to be independently operating in late-2024.

The Shephard News Team


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