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CZECH REPUBLIC READYING HELICOPTER FLEET TRANSFORMATION
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Source: Czech Republic Air Force

WARSAW - The Czech Republic armed forces have unveiled a plan for acquiring a batch of new multipurpose helicopters while retiring their aging fleet of Russian-built attack helicopters. The plan, reported upon by local news agency CTK, will involve the procurement of 16 new-build multi-role helicopters outfitted for missions such as combat, transport, Medevac, search-and-rescue and transport. Deliveries will run from 2016 through 2020. Czech military chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Petr Pavel, stated that six manufacturers have shown interest in meeting the Czech requirement.

While acquiring new helicopters forms part of the fleet transformation plan, the retirement of existing platforms represents the other. The Czech military plans to retire its Mil Mi-24 and Mi-35 attack helicopter fleets from service between 2016 and 2018. The Mi-24s were inherited by the Czech Republic following the dissolution of the former Czechoslovakia, while the Mi-35s were acquired from Russian surplus stocks in exchange for debt reduction between April 2005 and January 2006.

Originally the Czech military planned on retiring its Polish-built W-3 Sokol transport helicopters along with its attack helicopter fleet in 2014, but has so far refrained from doing so as it weighs whether or not to overhaul a pair of the existing inventory of 10 and retain them in service.

In addition plans were prepared for the retirement of the remaining Mi-8 Hip VIP transport helicopters by 2018, with a buy of up to three helicopters from a trio of models - the UH-60 Black Hawk, the NH90 and the Mi-171Sh - being considered as their replacement.

Source:  Defense News
Associated URL: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140416/DEFREG01/304160029/Czech-Military-Ey
Source Date: April 16, 2014
Author: D. Darling, Europe Analyst 
Posted: 04/17/2014
 


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