The Czech Republic will receive eight helicopters for free from the United States, including six attack AH-1Z and two multi-purpose UH-1Y helicopters under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program. The US Embassy in Prague reported this.
Under this assistance, the Czech Republic will pay only the cost of modernizing the helicopters and their shipping.
“We are pleased to confirm the transfer of 6 AH-1Z and 2 UH-1Y helicopters under the Excess Defense Articles program. Thanks to this, it will pay only for the modernization and shipping. Together, we make our alliance stronger and more able to support in its struggle for freedom!,” said the report.
Defence 24 notes that the Czech Republic ordered eight multi-purpose UH-1Y Venom helicopters and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters from Bel in 2019. Production of the first Vipers was first launched in February this year. The total cost of this contract is $629 million. This amount also includes weapons and offset packages. It is emphasized that in general, the Czech army will be equipped with 20 American helicopters.
The Czech Republic ordered American helicopters to replace the Mi-24s and Mi-35s.
In May, the Czech Republic handed over its attack helicopters to Ukraine. This regards two Mi-24, however, the exact number might be greater.
Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová agreed on the delivery of eight US-made helicopters in April this year during her visit to Washington. She confirmed that the Ministry of Defense has already received a letter on the implementation of the agreements.
The helicopters to be received by the Czech Republic will be transferred from the surplus of the US Marine Corps. This opportunity is open since the Marines, under the new model of structures, decided to reorganize part of the helicopter aviation units. This allows discarding virtually new machines from service.