Source: Gladius Defense & Security
The US State Department has approved the sale of four Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and eight combat capable UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters the Czech Republic Air Force. These will complement an existing fleet of 16 Soviet-era Mil Mi-24 Hinds.
The AH-1Z will provide the Czech Air Force with a dedicated attack helicopter capable of employing modern weapon systems such as the Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missile and BAE Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System. Guidance is provided by the Lockheed Martin Target Sight System, allowing for operations at night and in all-weather conditions. The AH-1Z 5,764 lb (2614 kg) payload allows for carriage of up to 16 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles for dedicated anti-tank missions.
The first AH-1Z will be delivered in 2023 with the possibility for more orders if the Czech Air Force decides to retire its Mi-24 Hind fleet. The AH-1Z sale will increase NATO’s defensive posture in Eastern Europe and deter threats posed by mechanized armor employed by NATO’s regional near-peer adversaries.
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