WASHINGTON-The United States will provide eight Bell-made military helicopters to the Czech Republic free of charge. This was confirmed by the U.S. Embassy in Prague,
specifying through Twitter that the helicopters are in addition to 12 others previously ordered by the Central European country. The Czech Republic will only have to pay for the transfer costs and upgrades. “We gladly confirm the transfer of 6 AH-1Z and 2 UH-1Y under the Excess Defense Articles program,” the embassy said. Czech Defense Minister Jana Cernochova said the delivery represents “recognition of the NATO country’s aid” to Ukraine. “It has been proven that our clear and unwavering stance since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is paying off,” the minister said according to today’s “Hospodarske Noviny” newspaper. “Not only have we gained the respect of our allies through our efforts in helping Ukraine, but we have also received their support in modernizing our army,” Cernochova noted. With this latest delivery, the Czech Republic will get 10 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and 10 UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters. The previously ordered aircraft are expected to arrive in 2023.