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Czech crews commence H-1 helicopter training

Air and ground crews from the Czech Air Force have begun training on UH-1Y and AH-1Z (pictured) helicopters in the United States. (Army of the Czech Republic)

Czech personnel have begun training on Bell H-1 helicopters ahead of the commencement of deliveries in 2023.

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the milestone on 26 September, saying that air and ground crews from the Czech Air Force had begun training on the UH-1Y Venom utility and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter.

“Since July, a group of pilots and onboard technicians from the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base in Náměště nad Oslavou have been training … at [the] US Marine Corps Base Pendleton. In September, the initial theoretical training was replaced by the first practical flights.”

The Army of the Czech Republic (Armáda Ceské Republiky: ACR) is to receive an initial eight UH-1Y and four AH-1Z helicopters as part of a wider effort to phase out the country's Soviet-built equipment, with a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) signed in September 2020. Further to these 12 helicopters, an additional eight are being gifted by the US for a final fleet of 10 UH-1Y and 10 AH-1Z helicopters.

The UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters are intended to replace the Mil Mi-2 ‘Hoplite', Mi-8/17 ‘Hip', and Mi-24 ‘Hind' helicopters of the ACR.

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