Italy’s Leonardo files complaint with Czech watchdog ÚOHS over military helicopter deal

16-12-2019

The Italian aerospace company Leonardo has filed a complaint with the Office for the Protection of Competition (ÚOHS) over the army’s purchase of helicopters from US rival Bell.

Czech Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar last week signed a deal to buy eight utility UH-1Y Venom helicopters and four AH-1Z attacks Viper helicopters from Bell for CZK 14.6 billion.

The ministry said it chose Bell over cheaper options – including Leonardo’s Augusta AW139M – because the US firm offered greater cooperation with Czech firms, in particular state-owned enterprise LOM Praha, which maintains Soviet-era Mi-24 helicopters.