Bell Textron started production of the first AH-1Z Viper for the Czech Republic at its Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas. The production of the Viper joins UH-1Y production as part of the Czech Republic Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of mixed fleet aircraft.
“Bell remains focused on producing exceptional combat aircraft and providing modern capabilities for the Czech Air Force as a partner in the H-1 program, along with the U.S. government,” said Mike Deslatte, vice president and H-1 program director, Bell.
Bell’s work beyond aircraft manufacturing includes building a flight training device for the Czech Republic, essential to integrating the new helicopters into the Czech Armed Forces.
Bell began production on the Czech Republic UH-1Y in 2021, marking the first production for an international operator of the UH-1Y. The Czech Republic’s purchase of both the AH-1Z and UH-1Y takes advantage of the 85 per cent commonality between parts, while also enabling what Bell describes as full mission capabilities between both aircraft.
In addition to the Czech Republic, Bell is producing AH-1Zs for the U.S. Marines Corps and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In total, the H-1 program is on track to produce 217 AH-1Zs and 168 UH-1Ys, with more than 100 consecutive H-1s delivered on time for the USMC and FMS customers.