$575 million UH-1Y utility helicopter sale to Czech Republic approved by US State Dept

The U.S. State Department approved the estimated $575 million sale of 12 UH-1Y utility helicopters to the Czech Republic, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO partner that is an important force for ensuring peace and stability in Europe,” DSCA said in a press release on Monday, October 23, adding that it “will support the Czech Republic’s needs for its own self-defense and support NATO defense goals.”

The potential sale also includes Honeywell Embedded GPS/INS (EGI), 7.62mm M240 machine guns, Brite Star II FLIR system, Aircraft Survivability Equipment, Joint Mission Planning Systems, Helmet Mounted Displays, communication equipment, small caliber gun systems including GAU-17A miniguns and GAU-21 .50 caliber machine guns, electronic warfare systems, support equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training and other related elements of logistics and program support.

USMC UH-1Y Venom helicopter
A US Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 during a refueling exercise August 23, 2017. Image: US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Cody J. Ohira

Bell Helicopter, Textron and General Electric Company will be the principal contractors for the deal, according to the release.

“This proposed sale of equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” DSCA said.

US Marines board a UH-1Y Venom helicopter
US Marines assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) board a UH-1Y Venom helicopter on the flight deck of the USS San Diego (LPD 22) in the Mediterranean Sea, October 3, 2017. Image: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin A. Schoenberger

The Bell UH-1Y Venom, one of the most recent members of the Huey helicopter family and sometimes called the Super Huey, is a twin-engine, medium-sized utility helicopter, built for the U.S. Marine Corps. It entered service in 2008, and was planned to replace the USMC’s fleet of 1970s-vintage UH-1N Twin Huey light utility helicopters, which were retired in 2014.

UH-1Y Venom helicopter departs the USS San Diego
A UH-1Y Venom helicopter departs the USS San Diego (LPD 22) during a vertical replenishment, October 6, 2017. Image: US NavyChief Mass Communication Specialist Joseph M. Buliavac

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