The Czech Republic has accepted its first H1 light attack helicopters from American aerospace giant Bell Textron.
The delivery is part of Washington’s $200-million compensation to the European nation for sending military weapons and equipment to Ukraine.
A handover ceremony was held at the company’s facility in Texas, with Czech defense deputy minister František Šulc and air force commander Brigadier General Petr Čepelka in attendance.
“I am delighted to return to Amarillo after almost exactly a year and see the first AH-1Z helicopter, which will soon be sent to the Czech Armed Forces,” Šulc said. “It is an important step in the modernization of the Czech Armed Forces.”
Prague will receive 11 more H1 choppers, eight UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to replace the country’s aging Mi 24V/35 rotary-wing aircraft.
The new aircraft will feature a glass cockpit with large LCD panels and an automated air control system with integrated satellite and inertial navigation, Čepelka said.
They would reportedly bring whole new capabilities to the Czech military, especially amid increasing threats on the modern battlefield.
The US will facilitate training courses for the next two years to allow Czech pilots and mechanics to learn the full extent of the operation and maintenance of the aircraft.