The Czech Republic has shortlisted bids from Bell Helicopter and Leonardo Helicopters for a 12-unit requirement for multirole rotorcraft.

Prague's defence ministry says it has accepted offers from both the Italian and US goverments for the procurement. It now intends to "assess and evaluate" both offers, it says.

Bell has pitched the UH-1Y Venom via the USA's Foreign Military Sales mechanism, while Leonardo has proposed the AW139M.

A final decision on the acquisition will be made by the new government in the Czech Republic, which has yet to be formed following elections in late October.

On 23 October, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved a possible sale of 12 UH-1Ys to Prague, along with training and support provision, in a deal valued at $575 million.

The US manufacturer had indicated at June's Paris air show that it had been down-selected for the requirement.