The Czech Ministry of Defence has approved the purchase of 12 helicopters from the United States at a cost of CZK 14.6 billion not including VAT. The minister of defence, Lubomír Metnar, said that he had informed the government of the move at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. His officials aim to conclude the contract to buy eight UH-1Y Venom and four AH-1Z Viper helicopters from manufacturer Bell by the end of the year. Mr. Metnar said the new aircraft were needed to replace Mil Mi-24s that would soon not be fit for purpose, adding that the Czech Republic should also no longer be dependent on helicopters that were made in Russia.
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