The Czech Republic is considering the purchase of additional Venom and Viper helicopters for its armed forces, according to Defense Minister Jana Černochová.
Černochová expressed interest in the additional helicopters during a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The Czech government feels that the 12 aircraft the military is going to receive may be insufficient in light of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
“At the Ministry of Defence, we have all the prerequisites to catch up in terms of defense spending as soon as possible,” the defense minister said in a statement.
However, he did not reveal the number of additional helicopters that the country is interested in purchasing.
Details of Contract
In September 2020, the Czech Republic awarded a $272 million contract to Bell Textron for the procurement of eight UH-1Y Venom and four AH-1Z Viper helicopters. The work is being done in Fort Worth and Amarillo, Texas, and is expected to be complete by November next year.
The deal also includes weapons, spare parts, a training simulator, and pilot training.
The two models are suitable for airlift and medical evacuation, search and rescue, aerial reconnaissance, close air support, and special operations.
The company has produced 349 H-1 helicopters, including 160 UH-1Ys and 189 AH-1Zs for clients such as the US Marine Corps.
Recent Donation to Ukraine
The Czech government announced on Sunday that it has approved the further supply of weapons and ammunition worth 16 million euros ($17.64 million) to Ukraine.
It had already announced plans to supply machine guns, submachine guns, sniper rifles, pistols, and ammunition worth 7.5 million euros ($8.2 million).