The Czech government is poised to issue a tender for five aircraft to be used for government VIP and troop transport. The contract for three fixed-wing aircraft and two helicopters is valued at around $135 million and the first aircraft could be in service in two years. The tender will include a single widebody business aircraft that can seat up to 100 troops, two large cabin aircraft to seat up to 30 passengers and two helicopters.

The current fleet includes eight obsolete Russian-built types, including one Antonov An-24, three Mil Mi-8S helicopters, two Tupolev Tu-154Ms and two Yakovlev Yak-40s. Only its Bombardier Challenger business jet meets European Union regulations on emissions and noise, the government says. This is hindering national and international operations. The Tu-154s could be replaced by Airbus A319 or Boeing 737 types, the Yak-40s and the An-24 by the Embraer Legacy or Challenger 604 and the Mi-8S by the Sikorsky S-76.

Source: Flight International