Last appearance on the broadcast for the Czech backside

   

With the Czech Air Force expected to withdraw its Mi-24/35 fleet from service by the end of 2023, the NATO & Czech Air Force Days in Ostrava will be one of the last opportunities to see the Czech Hind both on the static and dynamic displays.

On August 19th 2022 during a visit to the 24th Air Transport Base at Praha-Kbely Czech Minister of Defence Jana Černochová announced that the US will donate free-of-charge eight H-1 helicopters to the Czech Republic.

The additional six AH-1Z Viper and two UH-1Y Venom helicopters, adding to the four AH-1Zs and eight UH-1Ys already on order will replace the outdated Mi-24V/35 Hind fleet from 2023.

Czech Minister of Defence Jana Černochová said;

“It will be a donation, we will only pay the price of repairs, reconstruction according to our requirements, transport to the Czech Republic and other related costs. At the moment, it is not possible to quantify them exactly, but compared to the price of new helicopters, these are incomparable amounts.”

In 1993 after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia the Czech Air Force received 34 Mi-24 Helicopters from the former Czechoslovak army air force and in 2003 additional ten new Mi-35 were delivered from Russia.

Currently, the Czech Air Force operates about 15 Mi-24V and the newer Mi-35 Helicopters all of which are based at Namest nad Oslavou (home of the 22nd Helicopter Airbase) in the east of the country where they serve with the 221st Helicopter Squadron.

The Mil Mi-24 (NATO reporting name: Hind) is a large helicopter gunship, attack helicopter and low-capacity troop transport with room for eight passengers. It was predicted that the oldest Czech Mi-17s, acquired in 1994/5, could last until 2030 and the Mi-24Vs could continue until 2045 with the necessary maintenance and clearance from Mil Helicopters in Moscow however due to sanctions on Russia, spares for the Mi-24/35s are increasingly difficult to get and the Czech Air Force had to look at new options. It is expected that once retired all helicopters will be donated to Ukraine.

Major General Ivo Střecha said;

“The Mi-24 helicopter gunship, which began serving in the Czechoslovak army in 1978, will be gradually replaced with the UH-1/AH-1 helicopters of the American company Bell Flight next year, so this year’s NATO Days will be one of the last opportunities for the public to see them on the ground and in the air,”

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