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Bell Textron has started production of the first AH-1Z VIPER for the Czech Republic at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Centre, the company writes in a press release. The production of the VIPER joins UH-1Y production as part of the Czech Republic Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of a mixed fleet aircraft.

Bell’s work beyond aircraft manufacturing includes building a flight training device for the Czech Republic. Bell began production on the Czech Republic UH-1Y in 2021, marking the first production for an international operator of this type of aircraft. The Czech Republic’s purchase of both the AH-1Z and UH-1Y takes advantage of the 85 per cent commonality between parts and enabling mission capabilities between both aircraft.

In addition to the Czech Republic, Bell is actively producing AH-1Zs for the US Marines Corps and the Kingdom of Bahrain. In total, the H-1 programme is on track to produce 217 AH-1Zs and 168 UH-1Ys, with more than 100 consecutive H-1s delivered on time for the USMC and FMS customers.