Bell Textron Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $272,161,641 fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract for the production and delivery of eight UH-1Y Venom and four AH-1Z Viper helicopters for the government of the Czech Republic. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (60%); and Amarillo, Texas (40%), and is expected to be completed in November 2023. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $272,161,641 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(f)(2)(e). The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.
The Bell AH-1Z dubbed Viper is an American twin-engine attack helicopter, based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, that was developed for the United States Marine Corps as part of the H-1 upgrade program. In May 2019, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Czech Republic of four AH-1Z attack helicoptersfour (4), eight (8) T700-GE-701D engines (installed), eight (8) Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) and Precise Positioning Service (PPS) (installed), and fourteen (14) AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.
The Bell UH-1Y nicknamed Venom is a twin-engined, medium-sized utility helicopter, built by Bell Helicopter under the H-1 upgrade program of the United States Marine Corps. The UH-1Y variant modernizes the UH-1 design. In October 2017, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Czech Republic for UH-1Y utility helicopters, twenty-five (25) T-700 GE 401C engines (twenty-four (24) installed, one (1) spare), thirteen (13) Honeywell Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) (twelve (12) installed, one (1) spare), and twelve (12) 7.62mm M240 Machine Guns.
The H-1 mixed fleet shares 85-percent commonality between parts, reducing the logistics, maintenance, and training costs of the AH-1Z Viper and UY-1Y Venom helicopters while offering a lethal combination of integrated weapons systems to counter ground, air, and maritime targets effectively. The purchase of four AH-1Z and eight UH-1Y military helicopters represents the first foreign military sale of a mixed H-1 fleet. In December 2019, Czech Republic has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) with the U.S. to procure four AH-1Z and eight UH-1Y helicopters. Bell anticipates the delivery of the first H-1 aircraft to the Czech Republic will begin in 2023 and complete delivery by 2024.