U.S., Czech Republic Agree to Sale of H‑1 Helicopters

 In China, GDI, Russia, USA, Defense, Sea, Air, Threats

The pur­chase of four AH-1Z and eight UH-1Y mil­i­tary heli­copters rep­re­sents the first for­eign mil­i­tary sale of a mixed H‑1 fleet. Bell antic­i­pates the deliv­ery of the first H‑1 air­craft to the Czech Republic will begin in 2023 and com­plete deliv­ery by 2024.

The sale, which Esper said was a “his­toric moment,” totals about $650 mil­lion and is the Czech Republic’s largest mil­i­tary pur­chase from the U.S. The defense sec­re­tary said it is a step for­ward in the Czech Republic’s replace­ment of Russian heli­copters with NATO inter­op­er­a­ble equip­ment.

This pro­cure­ment sup­ports the National Defense Strategy objec­tives of strength­en­ing alliances as well as coun­ter­ing Russian influ­ence, high­lights con­sol­i­dat­ed gains made over the past 30 years as the Czech Republic mod­ern­izes its armed forces and demon­strates the strength of the U.S.-Czech Republic defense rela­tion­ship, a defense offi­cial said.

Both lead­ers said the U.S. and the Czech Republic share many secu­ri­ty inter­ests.

“We con­tin­ue to stand united as NATO allies to deter an increas­ing­ly aggres­sive Russia. We will also con­tin­ue to work togeth­er to address the threats and chal­lenges posed by China, espe­cial­ly with regard to 5G tech­nol­o­gy,” Esper said. He noted the department’s appre­ci­a­tion for the Czech Republic’s lead­er­ship in call­ing atten­tion to the secu­ri­ty of 5G net­works in Europe.

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper greets Czech Republic Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., Dec. 12, 2019. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee)Source: Defence Blog

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