Ministry of Defence received a new offer for acquisition of new helicopters from the United States

 26. 06. 2019      category: Army of the Czech Republic

U.S. Ambassador Stephen B. King officially handed over the offers to supply 12 helicopters from the U.S. Government to the Czech Minister of Defence, Lubomír Metnar. It is an expected step within negotiations with the U.S. Administration and proceeding market research.  There are two alternatives of the acquisition: a combination of UH-1Y Venom + AH-1Z Viper, or 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

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Picture: Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar took over the documents with the offer from the U.S. Ambassador Stephen B.  | Viktor Meca, army.cz

“Today we officially took over two offers. Commission consisting of Ministry and Army representatives will now be responsible for their assessment, evaluation and recommendation of conclusions,” said Minister Lubomír Metnar.

“The offers do not only include supply of helicopters as such, they embrace the whole system, i. e. weapon system equipment, munitions, maintenance, schooling and training,” added Deputy Minister for Armaments and Acquisitions Filip Říha.

The U.S. party placed the following two offers:

  • 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters – offer placed totalling $ 589.9 million (13.2 milliard CZK), whereas the original maximum amount approved by the U.S. Congress amounted to $ 800 million.

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Picture: UH-60 Black Hawk. It is interesting that the only commercial operator of these legendary machines in the world outside the United States is the Czechoslovak Group Holding (CSG).

  • 8 UH-1Y Venom helicopters plus 4 AH-1Z Viper helicopters – offer placed totalling $ 645.9 million (14.5 milliard CZK), whereas the original maximum amount approved by the U.S. Congress amounted to $ 780 million.

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Picture: Bell AH-1Z Viper serving the United States. Marine Corps  | Wikimedia Commons

 

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Picture: UH-1Y Venom serving the United States. Marine  | Wikimedia Commons

Which alternative will be preferred by the Defence?

If you regularly follow discussion forums, it is probably obvious to you, that specialists mainly incline to the second alternative, i. e. combination of multi-purpose Venoms and battle Vipers. The acquisition must be regarded in a context and with respect to long-term use and deployment. If we take international exercises into consideration, which the ACR participates in within the Czech Republic as well as abroad, then the frequent combination of Mi-171Š and Mi-24/35 is a suitable and deployed choice.

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Picture: The Mil Mi-24 battle helicopter serving the ACR Airforce  | Wikimedia Commons

In other words, a utility helicopter covered by a skilful and well armed battle helicopter. The result of the tender will be a surprise. It is important that safety and transparency of the whole acquisition is guaranteed thanks to the intergovernmental agreement. The helicopters will be acquired under the conditions same as those of the U.S. Army.

 Author: Petr Žák