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US delivers eight helicopters to Czech Republic

US delivers eight helicopters to Czech Republic

The United States on Friday announced the donation of eight combat and multi-role helicopters to the Czech Republic, a member of NATO.

The Czech Republic has played a key role in providing military equipment to Ukraine since the February 24 Russian invasion.

Six AH-1Z combat helicopters and two UH-1Y multi-role helicopters will be provided under the Supplemental Security Articles program, according to the US Embassy in Prague.

“The Czech Republic will only pay for the upgrade and transportation of the equipment,” the US embassy clarified on Twitter.

In 2019, Prague announced the purchase of eight UH-1Y and four AH-1Z helicopters manufactured by Texas-based Bell Corporation to replace the aging Russian-made Mi-35/24s.

20 helicopters are expected to arrive next year. Russian helicopters are a legacy of four decades of communist rule – until 1989 – in the former Czechoslovakia.

The Czech Republic seceded from Slovakia in 1993 and joined NATO in 1999.

Since then, it has been modernizing outdated Soviet-era military equipment to bring it up to NATO standards.

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