Czechia Hints at Sending Additional Mi-24 Helicopters to Ukraine

Thursday, 17 August 2023

Jana Černochová, Czech Defence Minister, stated that Soviet-made Mi-24 helicopters, which Czechia is replacing with US helicopters, could find use in Ukraine.

As reported by ČTK, during an event at the helicopter base of the Czech Air Force near Náměšť nad Oslavou, Černochová emphasised that the country in the future cannot be "materially dependent on risky resources from the East." Therefore, it is important to both update military equipment and create opportunities for its maintanance.

She also acknowledged that the Russian Mi-24V and Mi-35 helicopters "served longer than expected."

"While today we will symbolically say goodbye to them, their history is certainly not over. I think we all suspect that today they can still find use where any defence technology needed. Our assistance has been going and will continue to go there for months," added Chrnová.

The Czech Defence Minister stated that the Mi helicopters are in good condition and have been performing tasks for the army, including in foreign operations, for a long time.

The Czech Army has about 40 helicopters. 30 are from the Soviet and Russian-made Mi series. The army also has several Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters, which will be retired in a few years. It also possesses 15 modernised Mi-171Sh helicopters that can be operated until 2035.

In 2019, Czechia agreed with the US to purchase eight multi-purpose UH-1Y Venom helicopters and 4 AH-1Z Viper combat helicopters. The Czech side has received the first four new helicopters.

On July 7, Petr Fiala, Czech Prime Minister, announced that Czechia will provide Ukraine with additional combat helicopters, large-caliber ammunition, and assist in training F-16 fighter pilots. Last year, Czechia already sent combat helicopters to Ukraine.

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