Czech Minister Slechtova restarts helicopter acquisition bid

  • Redakce ESJ
  • 2.2.2018 22:17

On January 31, the General Staff of the Czech Army (ACR) submitted a new acquisition of utility helicopters project for the approval of the appointed Minister of Defence, Karla Slechtova. The original bid, contested by American Bell and Italian Leonardo, was canceled by the Slechtova in the light the doubts with regard to the suitability of its initial specifications.

Chief of Staff, General Josef Becvar, defended himself against the accusations that the army's requirements are unrealistic, and indeed the new specifications in the modified project are supposedly very little different from the initial ones. The goal to acquire 12 multipurpose helicopters capable of providing close air support to ground forces is still there, and according to Becvar, the specifications were chosen so that the helicopter can be used for 15 years. But the contending UH-1Y Venom and AW139M had a different design, the first being a combat operations helicopter, while the AW139 is primarily a civil search and rescue machine, modified for military use. The Minister is also reviewing the MADR 3D radar contract, won by the Israeli company Elta. Slechtova also boldly plans to undertake the reorganization of the entire General Staff, in order to improve its supposedly imperfect functioning.

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