Yesterday the Czech Republic closed a new chapter in the westernization of its Armed Forces, and specifically its Air Force.
The Czech Army (as in Poland, in the Czech Republic the entire Armed Forces are called "Army") said goodbye to the last Mil Mi-24V attack helicopters of its Force Air. These are Soviet-era helicopters, also known as Mi-35 due to their export name. The Czech Air Force operated 13 Mi-24V, part of which has been delivered to Ukraine as military aid against the Russian invasion. The Czech Mi-24V were part of the 221st Helicopter Squadron, based at Náměšť nad Oslavou Airport and also known as "Tygří Letka" (Tiger Squadron), as it has this feline on its insignia.
On August 17, the Czech Air Force held the official reception of the first two AH-1Z Viper in Náměšť nad Oslavou, an event that was chaired by the Czech Minister of Defense, Jana Černochová, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army, Lieutenant General Karel Řehka. You can see here the video summary of this event published the next day by the Czech Army:
Yesterday the Czech Army published the video of the farewell of the Mi-24V, with a formation flight in which the Mi-24V with numbers 3365, 3366 and 3369 participated, in addition to the AH-1Z 0487 and UH-1Y 0490:
In total, the Czech Air Force will receive 10 AH-1Z Viper and 10 UH-1Y Venom. Eight of these helicopters will be second-hand units and twelve will be newly manufactured helicopters. Both models are also used by the United States Marine Corps from the LHDs of the US Navy.
The incorporation of the AH-1Z Viper and the UH-1Y Venom represents a technological leap for the 221st Helicopter Squadron. In addition to having more modern avionics and weapons, its maintenance is also simpler than that of the Mi-24V.
The Mi-24V is an attack helicopter that also has troop transport capabilities, hence its capabilities are replaced by an attack helicopter like the Viper and a transport helicopter like the Venom. However, the UH-1Y will also complement the Mil Mi-171Š/ŠM of the 221st Squadron, other veterans of Soviet origin whose retirement from service is expected in the first half of the 2030s.
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