The United States will donate six AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and two multipurpose UH-1Y Venom attack helicopters to the Czech Republic free of charge under the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program.

Under the EDA program, the Czech Republic will receive eight military helicopters from the United States. The Czech side will only pay for the modernization and transportation of American vehicles, reported US Embassy in the Czech Republic.

Defense24 portal clarified that the Czech Republic became the first country to decide to transfer Mi-24 attack helicopters to Ukraine after the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022. Therefore, it is highly likely that the American Venom and Viper are compensation to an ally from the United States. By the way, in America, these models are in service with the Marine Corps, which is currently undergoing a reorganization of its helicopter units.

Czech Mi-24 Czech Mi-24

However, the Czech army began the transition from Soviet helicopters to American ones even earlier. So, back in 2019, the Czech Republic ordered eight copies of the UH-1Y Venom and four AH-1Z Vipers from Bell. The cost of the contract amounted to 629 million dollars, taking into account weapons and maintenance. In February 2022, the concern began production of the first Viper under this agreement. 

Thus, in total, the Czech Republic intends to receive 20 American cars. In this context, it is noteworthy that before the Czech Republic began to transfer its helicopters to Ukraine, the Czech army had 17 Mi-24s and Mi-35s at its disposal.

Bell AH-1Z Viper US Marine Corps Bell AH-1Z Viper

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is an American attack helicopter based on the Bell AH-1 Super Cobra. Equipped with two engines and 4-bladed main and tail propellers.

Bell UH-1Y Venom US Marine Corps Bell UH-1Y Venom

The Bell UH-1Y Venom (also known as the Super Huey) is a medium-sized twin-engine multifunctional helicopter. Also equipped with two engines and 4-bladed propellers.

If the AH-1Z Viper is a "full-blooded" attack helicopter, armed with a triple-barreled 20mm cannon, Hellfire and APKWS guided missiles, 70mm unguided rockets and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, then the Venom can also perform assault missions, including including using 70mm APKWS guided missiles.

Евгений Ушаков
Evgenii Ushakov
15 years driving