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The US presents eight Bell military helicopters to the Czech Republic

The US will provide the Czech Republic with eight Bell military helicopters free of charge, the US Embassy in Prague announced. The Czech Minister of Defense said that this is a recognition of the help that the NATO member country provides to Ukraine, BTA reported, citing Reuters.

The Czechs want to speed up the modernization of their military and end the use of Soviet-era equipment, including helicopters, and have donated their surplus equipment to Ukraine. “It is clear that our clear and unwavering stance since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is paying off. Thanks to our efforts to provide assistance to Ukraine, we have not only earned the respect of our allies, but also received their support for the modernization of our military,” it quoted newspaper “Hospodarzhske Novini” the Minister of Defense Yana Chernohova.

The helicopters are in addition to the 12 previously ordered and will be provided free of charge, with the Czech Republic only covering the costs of transfer and modernization, the US embassy said on Twitter late yesterday. “We are pleased to confirm the transfer of 6 AH-1Zs and 2 UH-1Ys under the Surplus Defense Products program,” the embassy said.

As a result of this decision by Washington, the Czech Republic will have 10 AH-1Z Viper attack aircraft and 10 multi-role UH-1Y Venom. The previously ordered helicopters are due to arrive in 2023. A month ago, Prague also announced plans to buy 24 F-35 fighter jets.

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