Bell Celebrates Successful Czech H-1 Program
Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, is commemorating the successful delivery of four H-1 helicopters to the Czech Republic during NATO Days 2023. Three AH-1Z Vipers and one UH-1Y Venom have been delivered in country as part of the 2019 deal to modernize the Czech Armed Forces with four AH-1Z Vipers and eight UH-1Y Venoms.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this tremendous occasion with the Czech Republic modernizing their helicopter fleet,” said Mike Deslatte, Bell senior vice president and H-1 program director. “These new H-1 platforms put the Czech Republic on the leading edge of fielded helicopter technology at a time when security matters more than ever.”
The AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom are Bell’s newest generation of dedicated attack and combat multirole helicopters. Bell designed both aircraft to have a minimal logistics footprint, enhancing operational speed and agility and providing militaries more versatility during strategic operations.
Bell, along with its subcontractor, Pinnacle Solutions, an Akima Company, will provide pilot, crew chief, and maintenance training, as well as maintenance support for those efforts in the Czech Republic.
“Pinnacle Solutions and Akima are pleased to support the Czech Armed Forces and Bell Textron in delivering these new and vital aircraft capabilities to the Czech Republic,” said Tina Tucker, president of Pinnacle Solutions. “Our highly experienced professionals will provide the best quality training while ensuring that the aircraft are fully maintained to complete this important phase of the aircraft fielding.”
The Czech Republic is displaying H-1 helicopters during NATO Days. Prior to the aircraft arrival, a select group of Czech pilots, aircrew and maintainers completed hands-on aircraft training with the U.S. Marines at HMLAT-303 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. Bell and Flight Safety International built and installed the AH-1Z dome simulator at the Czech Air Force base in Náměšt, which will bring more independence for training within the borders of the Czech Republic.
“This is the start of a new era with the Viper and Venom being a key asset for the defense and security of the Czech Republic.” Deslatte added.
Bell continues production on the remaining AH-1Z and UH-1Y at the Amarillo Assembly Center and coordinates with the Czech and U.S. Governments through the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) to arrange and schedule deliveries of remaining aircraft. The Czech Air Force squadron is expected to be independently operating H-1s in late 2024.