The 22nd Air Force Base of the Czech Republic received the first two AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters shortly before noon on July 26. They arrived in a C-17 Globemaster cargo plane. By mid-September, the Vicar base will receive four more machines: two Vipers and the first two UH-1Y Venoms.
“Delivery of the first American helicopters is a significant moment for the modernization of the military, it moves the helicopter air force into the 21st century,” said Defense Minister Jana Černochová. “In this way, we are getting rid of our dependence on Russian technology and switching to a modern Western platform supplied by an important ally.”
Specialists from the U.S. and the Czech Republic will assemble the helicopters and carry out certification on the machines. During August, a mobile training team (MTT – Mobile Training Team) will arrive from the United States, which will start training air personnel of the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base on September 1. The official presentation of the helicopters will take place in Náměště on August 17 with the participation of the Minister of Defense, the Chief of the General Staff and other representatives of the department and the army.
The intergovernmental agreement for the purchase of 12 new helicopters of the H-1 system was signed in 2019 by then Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar. The Czech Republic will receive another eight modernized ones from United States as an award for helping Ukraine. The Czech army will thus have a total of 10 UH-1Y Venom machines and the same number of AH-1Z Viper at its disposal.