Czech helicopter pilots should get Venom’s and Viper’s, Prime Minister Babiš and Minister Metnar said.
The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has visited today the 22nd Helicopter Aviation Base in Sedlec, Vícenice near Náměšť nad Oslavou. He, accompanying by Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar, Chief of General Staff of the Czech Army Army-General Aleš Opata and Commander of the Air Force of the Czech Army Major-General Petr Hromek, acquainted himself with the base activities, aviation equipment and their tasks.
Together with a presentation of Mi-24/35, Mi-171Š and W-3A Sokol machines, which are currently used by Czech soldiery, the main target of the visit was a discussion about new twelve helicopters, the purchase of which is one of the main strategic arming projects.
“I was acquainted in detail with the acquisition related to the new helicopters. It should be four attack and eight transport modern machines. Soldiers need them. We want to realize the procurement as soon as possible. Deliveries should start in 2023,“ said Prime Minister Babiš.
“We’ve evaluated the obtained quotations and, based on the army recommendation, elected the variant, which includes eight multi-purpose UH-1Y Venom helicopters and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. We would like to conclude an agreement by the year end,” mentioned Minister Metnar.
Picture: Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (in the middle) visiting the 22nd Helicopter Aviation Base in Náměšti nad Oslavou (on the left - Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar, on the right - Chief of General Staff of the Czech Army Army-General Aleš Opata) | army.cz
“Based on recommendations of the expert commission, we’ve evaluated as the best the system named as H1, which is a combination of Venom and Viper helicopters. This configuration offers all required-by-us abilities,“ added General Opata.
The contract price is 14.5 milliard CZK. Together with the helicopters, the quotation price also includes equipping them with arming systems, ammunition, maintenance and personnel training and exercises.
Picture: The Prime Minister Babiš was interested in the currently-used helicopters, which the army has at disposal. The Chief of General Staff of the Czech Army Army-General Aleš Opata (the second from left) reports about their abilities. | army.cz
After having finished necessary process tasks inside the defence department, Mr. Lubomír Metnar made a proposal for the Czech Government to conclude a contract at the Government-Government (G-G) level.
The Ministry obtained two quotations for the procurement of helicopters from the American Government in late June. The Americans offered either 12 multi-purpose UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters or 8 multi-purpose UH-1Y Venom machines together with four fighting AH-1Z Viper.
New machines from Bell, which as an integrated battle system are used by the US Marine Corps, meet three basic army requirements - fire support of the ground forces, transportation of soldiers and transportation of the wounded warriors. It will gradually replace Mi-24/35 of Russian production.