The Czech Army chose to buy 12 military helicopters from US maker Bell rather than a cheaper option from its rival Sikorsky mainly because Bell offered greater cooperation with Czech firms, the daily Právo reports.
The deal priced at 14.5 billion crowns included 8 utility Venom helicopters and 4 attack Viper helicopters, which share most of their parts. Sikorsky had offered 12 Black Hawks for 1 billion crows less and included weaponry and ammunition shipments.
But military officials told Právo that Bell offered far more work for Czech companies, in particular the state-owned enterprise LOM Praha, which fixes and maintains Soviet-era Mi-24 helicopters, and the Military Technical Institute (VTÚ).
Bell’s deal also allowed for preserving combat capabilities when the Mi-24s are removed from service, around 2025, the sources said.
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