WASHINGTON, May 03, 2019 – The US Department of State has decided to approve a possible foreign acquisition by the Czech Republic of four Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated $ 205 million, according to a press release by Bell Helicopter. The Defense Cooperation Agency issued the necessary certification, notifying the US Congress today of this potential sale.
The Czech Government has requested to acquire four AH-1Z attack helicopters, eight T700-GE701D engines, eight integrated global positioning systems with Honeywell inertial navigation (EGI) precise positioning systems (PPS) as well as fourteen Hellfire AGM-114 missiles. Also included are communications equipment, electronic combat systems, M197 20 mm machine guns, Target Sight System, support equipment, spare engine containers, spare parts and repairs, testing equipment, technical data and publications, training staff, government technical assistance services and contractors on technical support, logistics and engineering, and other logistics and program support items. The estimated total cost of the program is $ 205 million.
This possible acquisition will support US foreign policy and security by improving the security of a NATO partner, which is an important force in ensuring peace and stability in Europe. The sale of these types of equipment meets the need of the Czech Republic to defend and support its own and NATO defense objectives.
The Czech Republic considers either the UH-60M or the Bell UH-1Y / AH-1Z helicopters to replace the Mi-24 helicopter fleet. The Czech Republic intends to use these helicopters to modernize its armed forces and to strengthen national defense. The program will contribute to the Czech Republic’s military objective of updating its capabilities while enhancing interoperability with the United States and its NATO allies. The Czech Republic will have no difficulty in interoperability between these helicopters and its armed forces.
The main contractors will be Bell Helicopter, Textron, Fort Worth, Texas; and General Electric Company, Lynn, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements in relation to this potential sale.
Implementing this possible acquisition will require more visits from US Government representatives and contractors to temporarily participate in technical and program reviews as well as aircraft training and maintenance assistance in the country for a period of 24 months. It will also be necessary for three representatives of the contractors to live in the Czech Republic for two years to support this program.
The announcement of a potential military purchase is required by law and does not mean that the sale has been made.