First Two Bell AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters Delivered to Czech Air Force
First Two Bell AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters Delivered to Czech Air Force

First Two Bell AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters Delivered to Czech Air Force

The Czech Air Force achieved a significant milestone with the delivery of the first two American AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to the 22nd Air Force Base. These state-of-the-art helicopters, delivered in a giant C-17 Globemaster cargo plane, signify a shift towards a modern Western platform and a move away from dependence on Russian technology. Delivery of the first American helicopters is a significant moment for the modernization of the military, it moves the helicopter air force into the 21st century. The delivery also includes the first two UH-1Y Venom helicopters, with four more machines, including two Vipers and two Venoms, expected to arrive by mid-September at the Vicar base. The helicopters will be prepared for operation by a joint effort of American specialists and their Czech counterparts in the next two weeks.

The H-1 system will fundamentally increase the firing capabilities of the helicopter air force of the Czech army, especially with precisely guided ammunition that can be used by both helicopters of the system,” said the Chief of the General Staff of the ACR, Lieutenant General Karel ?ehka.

“Delivery of the first American helicopters is a significant moment for the modernization of the military, it moves the helicopter air force into the 21st century. In this way, we are getting rid of our dependence on Russian technology and switching to a modern Western platform supplied by an important ally,” said Defense Minister Jana ?ernochová.

The Czech air force's first two Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters are unloaded from the Boeing C-17 transport aircraft that delivered them to Vicar air base on Wednesday.
The Czech air force’s first two Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters are unloaded from the Boeing C-17 transport aircraft that delivered them to Vicar air base on Wednesday. (Photo by Czech Air Force)

Certification and training of the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base personnel will be conducted with the help of a mobile training team arriving from the USA in August. The procurement of 12 new helicopters, consisting of AH-1Z Vipers and UH-1Y Venoms, is part of an intergovernmental agreement signed in 2019. The Czech Republic will also receive an additional eight modernized helicopters from the USA as a reward for assisting Ukraine. In total, the Czech army will possess 10 UH-1Y Venoms and 10 AH-1Z Vipers. These cutting-edge helicopters are equipped with advanced firepower, self-protection systems, covert communication capabilities, and enhanced survivability on the battlefield. With the arrival of these advanced helicopters, the Czech air force bids farewell to its Mi-24V/35 fighters, moving towards a more capable and modern fleet to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter, based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, designed and produced by the American aerospace manufacturer Bell Helicopter. The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter, based on the AH-1W SuperCobra, designed and produced by the American aerospace manufacturer Bell Helicopter.The H-1 system, comprising AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters, represents a complete and versatile combat solution. The Vipers provide offensive air support, while the Venoms are well-suited for close fire support and logistics tasks. To ensure seamless transition and proficiency, Czech pilots and technicians have undergone rigorous training in the USA and will continue further training with an American mobile training team in the Czech Republic for the next two years. The official presentation of the helicopters is scheduled to take place in Námeste on August 17, showcasing the remarkable capabilities of the new H-1 system.

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