US to gift H-1 helicopters to Czech Republic
The US government will donate a total of eight Bell AH-1Z Viper attack and UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters to the Czech Republic, increasing Prague's total H-1 fleet to 20 aircraft.
Confirmation of the move was provided by Jana Cernochova, the Czech Republic's minister of defence, during a visit to the 24th Air Transport Base, Prague-Kbely on 19 August.
The new rotorcraft are set to replace retiring Mi-35/24V belonging to the Czech Army.
The gift from the US will see six Vipers and two Venoms handed over with Prague only required to pay for aircraft repairs or modifications depending on mission requirements and transfer from the US, noted Cernochova.
'With the new American helicopters, the Czech army will also receive appropriate equipment: specifically guided air-to-ground missiles Hellfire and Sidewinder missiles for air-to-air operations,' said the Czech MoD in a statement.
The latest procurement news came after Prague entered negotiations to buy three IAI Heron Mk 1 UAVs with Israel and opened talks with the US to acquire 24 Lockheed Martin F-35 fifth-generation fighter jets.
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