Bell Textron Inc. has started production of the first AH-1Z Viper twin-engine attack helicopter for the Czech Republic Air Force.
The aircraft is being built at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas, U.S. The production of the Viper joins UH-1Y production as part of the Czech Republic Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of mixed fleet aircraft.
“Bell understands what it means to execute a successful international program,” said Mike Deslatte, vice president and H-1 program director, Bell. “We understand the importance of providing the unmatched capability of the H-1 aircraft to our customers. Bell remains focused on producing exceptional combat aircraft and providing modern capabilities for the Czech Air Force as a partner in the H-1 program, along with the U.S. Government.”
Bell’s work beyond aircraft manufacturing includes building a flight training device for the Czech Republic, essential to integrating the new helicopters into the Czech Armed Forces.
Bell began production on the Czech Republic UH-1Y in 2021, marking the first production for an international operator of the UH-1Y. The Czech Republic’s purchase of both the AH-1Z and UH-1Y takes advantage of the 85% commonality between parts and enabling full mission capabilities between both aircraft.
In addition to the Czech Republic, Bell is actively producing AH-1Zs for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In total, the H-1 program is on track to produce 217 AH-1Zs and 168 UH-1Ys, with more than 100 consecutive H-1s delivered on time for the U.S. Marine Corps and FMS customers.