Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper and Czech Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar met at the Pentagon to finalize the sale of eight UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters.
The defense leaders took part in a ceremonial signing of the agreement following a meeting in which they discussed their long-standing defense relationship as well as mutual security concerns, according to a defense official.
The sale, which Esper said was a “historic moment,” totals about $650 million and is the Czech Republic’s largest military purchase from the U.S. The defense secretary said it is a step forward in the Czech Republic’s replacement of Russian helicopters with NATO interoperable equipment.
This procurement supports the National Defense Strategy objectives of strengthening alliances as well as countering Russian influence, highlights consolidated gains made over the past 30 years as the Czech Republic modernizes its armed forces and demonstrates the strength of the U.S.-Czech Republic defense relationship, a defense official said.