A Czech Mil Mi-24 helicopter of 221st Helicopter Squadron and 22nd Helicopter Squadron flies to its mission destination while conducting a simulated air assault during Exercise Allied Spirit VI at 7th Army Training Command’s Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, March 25, 2017. Photo courtesy of U.S. Army
Czech Republic's minister of defense will place an order for 12 new multipurpose helicopters for its army, with a supplier to be announced mid-year.
Defense minister Karla Slechtova made the announcement April 9 during her visit to the 22nd Helicopter Squadron in Namest nad Oslavou, where the nation's Mil Mi-171S and Mi-24/35 helicopters are located and operated.
The ministry of defense will "not be following the normal procedure in choosing a supplier," she said. "We will take advantage of an exception clause in the law relating to public tenders by making inquiries directly to two or three potential contractors."
The minister in a tweet April 11 said the ministry would not be sourcing the helicopters from Russia.
Bell had offered 12 UH-1Ys in a deal worth $575 million through a U.S. Foreign Military Sales process in 2017. Leonardo had also reportedly submitted offers for its AW139M at the time.
However, the tender was put on hold shortly after Slechtova assumed office in December 2017 in order for the ministry to reassess its needs and revise specifications for its aircraft.