Leonardo and Lockheed Martin confirm Czech helo interest

Leonardo Helicopters and Lockheed Martin have confirmed their commitment to competing a future medium multirole helicopter requirement for the Czech Republic, following the recent announcement that the US government has cleared the potential sale of the Bell UH-1Y Venom to the country.

The Czech republic has a pressing need to replace its Warsaw pact-era helicopter inventory, which includes Mi-17 transport platforms pictured. (ACR)

Both Leonardo Helicopters and Lockheed Martin re-affirmed to Jane’s on 28 October their continued interest in the Czech requirement to acquire an initial 12 new multirole helicopters to replace its ageing and increasingly unsupportable Warsaw Pact-era inventories.

While Leonardo’s AgustaWestland AW149 had previously been reported to be under consideration, a company representative said that its current offer is focused around the AW139M, noting; “Leonardo firmly believes that the AW139M-based [offers] full compliance with the Czech requirement, and a more comprehensive mission equipment package (including full icing protection and all weapon systems for effective close-air support), all with a significantly more competitive value.” The company added that its offer of industrial is “not negligible”, and will result in “significant taxpayer savings” for the country.

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