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Slovakia requests Bell 429 light utility purchase

Slovakia has requested a potentially $150 million rotorcraft purchase from the USA, seeking a deal for nine Bell Helicopter 429s.

Backed by the US State Department and notified to Congress on 27 April for approval, the possible light utility helicopter order would enable Slovakia to "strengthen its homeland defence and deter regional threats", according to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).

In addition to the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW207-engined Bell 429s, the Foreign Military Sale would also cover "customer-unique modifications" including the integration of L3 Wescam's MX-10 electro-optical/infrared sensor, plus personnel training, spare parts and logistics support, the DSCA says.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows the Slovak air force's rotorcraft inventory as currently including three Mil Mi-2s and 14 Mi-17s, with nine Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks already on order.

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