skip to main content

Czech Republic moves closer to H-1 helicopter induction as first crews complete training

Czech crews began US-based training on AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters in July 2022. (NAVAIR)

The Czech Republic's Bell H-1 helicopter procurement took a major step forward on 21 March, with the announcement that the first air and ground crews had completed their training in the United States.

US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said that the Czech crews from the 22nd Helicopter Air Force Base in Náměště nad Oslavou had graduated on 9 February.

“The students have been embedded with the [Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron] HMLAT-303 since July 2022, taking the same courses and hands-on training utilised by the US Marine Corps' military occupational specialities for the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom. The syllabus is designed to provide the initial knowledge, skills, and experience required to maintain, operate, and fly the H-1 platform,” NAVAIR said.

The training syllabus, which commenced in July 2022, included familiarisation, navigation, ordnance, formation, night-vision goggle, terrain, and instrument training. In addition, maintenance students completed training with the Center for Naval Aviation Technician Training Detachment Camp Pendleton, California.

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) agreement signed in September 2020. In addition 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.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...