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Czech Air Force receives second batch of AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters.

| 2023

On October 2, 2023, the Czech Air Force received its second batch of American AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and UH-1Y Venom multipurpose helicopters. This delivery marks another step in the modernization of the Czech Armed Forces and is part of a series of planned deliveries aimed at transitioning from Russian to modern Western equipment.

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Czech Air Force receives Second Batch of US AH 1Z Viper and UH 1Y Venom Helicopters 925 001 The most recent delivery on October 2, 2023, follows the initial arrival of two AH-1Z Vipers on July 26, 2023 (Picture source: Army Recognition and Twitter Czech MoD)

The most recent delivery on October 2, 2023, follows the initial arrival of two AH-1Z Vipers on July 26, 2023. According to a tweet by the Czech Ministry of Defense, the first two helicopters were delivered to the 22nd Helicopter Base of the Czech Air Force aboard a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane. With this second delivery, the base is now expected to receive one more batch in the coming weeks, which will include additional Vipers and Venoms.

Accompanying the helicopters, a team of American specialists had arrived in the Czech Republic to work with Czech counterparts on assembling and commissioning the helicopters. Over a two-week period, they conducted test flights and completed the certification process. A Mobile Training Team from the USA arrived in August, and training for the personnel of the 22nd Helicopter Base commenced on September 1, 2023. An official presentation of the helicopters took place on August 17 in Náměšť, featuring senior defense officials and military representatives.

The Czech Republic had previously agreed in 2019 to purchase twelve new H-1 helicopters. Additionally, as a token of appreciation for providing assistance to Ukraine, the Czech Republic will receive eight upgraded helicopters from the USA. This will bring the total number of UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopters in the Czech Armed Forces to ten each.

Produced by Bell Helicopters Textron, the AH-1Z Viper is an advanced attack helicopter equipped with a 20mm three-barreled rotary cannon and a 650-round capacity. It can carry various weapons, including Hellfire anti-tank missiles, HYDRA unguided rockets, APKWS laser-guided rockets, and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The Viper features an integrated avionics system with a "glass cockpit," providing essential flight data, weapon systems control, and situational awareness.

The UH-1Y Venom, also produced by Bell Helicopters Textron, is a multipurpose helicopter designed for various roles including troop transport, medical evacuation, and close air support. The Venom is equipped with advanced avionics and can carry a variety of armaments, making it a versatile asset for modern armed forces. Its capabilities complement those of the AH-1Z Viper, offering a well-rounded aerial solution for various military operations.

The arrival of these advanced helicopters marks a new chapter for the Czech Air Force, enhancing its capabilities and readiness for modern warfare. The transition from Russian equipment to modern Western technology represents a significant advancement for the country's defense forces.

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