The US Department of State has approved a potential deal to supply the Czech Republic with eight surplus H-1-series combat helicopters.

Worth up to an estimated $650 million, the Foreign Military Sales transaction would equip Prague with six refurbished and modernised Bell AH-1Z attack helicopters and two UH-1Y transports, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 3 May.

Czech UH-1Y and AH-1Z

Source: Bell

Proposed deal would boost Prague’s UH-1Y and AH-1Z fleet to 20 aircraft

If acquired, the ex-US Marine Corps rotorcraft would add to an on-order Czech air force fleet of four AH-1Zs and eight UH-1Ys, all scheduled for delivery this year.

The DSCA says a support package for the excess defence article helicopters would include communication equipment and electronic warfare systems, plus six spare GE Aerospace T700-401C engines.

“The proposed sale will improve the Czech Republic’s ability to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defence capability,” the DSCA says, while also “helping to improve the security of a NATO partner”.