Slovakia has been offered 12 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters as compensation for the transfer of 13 retired RAC MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine, its defence minister has revealed.

Valued at over $1 billion, the package includes training, logistics support and weapons, notably Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-surface missiles.


Source: Bell

US-built attack helicopter has also been ordered by the Czech Republic

Some $660 million will be provided to Slovakia from the US Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Financing programme, with the remainder to be taken from the Eastern European country’s defence budget over the next three to four years.

“This offer is hugely advantageous and will significantly increase Slovakia’s defence potential. Currently, we have no combat helicopters, so it would be a completely new combat capability,” says defence minister Jaroslav Nad.

Slovakia on 23 March became the first country to send fighter aircraft to Ukraine, with the transfer of four MiG-29s.

Slovak MiG-29-c-Slovak defence ministry

Source: Slovak defence ministry

Slovakia has so far handed over four MiG-29s to Ukraine

Formerly operated by the Slovak air force, the fighters were flown directly to Ukraine by Ukranian crews. The remaining aircraft will be transferred “in the coming weeks”.

Nad says the offer is also “indirect compensation” for the delayed delivery of 14 new Lockheed F-16Vs.

Signature of a government-to-government deal would come after all 13 MiG-29s and certain air defence systems have been handed over.

Should Slovakia acquire the AH-1Zs, it would join its Czech Republic neighbour in operating the attack helicopters; Prague has four Vipers on order.