Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, completed another step in the production of AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters for international customers. Czech Republic Chief of Defense (CHOD) Gen. Aleš Opata and delegates visited Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in a landmark meeting to observe the Czech Republic H-1 aircraft production line.
“Hosting Gen. Opata at our Amarillo Assembly Center allows us to showcase the significant progress Bell has made in aircraft production to support this vital international program and customer,” said Mike Deslatte, H-1 vice president and program director. “We are honored to continue our great relationship with the Czech Republic as we prepare to provide them with leading defense aircraft and continue the success of the H-1 program.”
During the visit, Gen. Opata signed the beams of the first AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft that will be delivered to the Czech Republic. Production continues on schedule with all 12 aircraft expected to be complete in 2023.
“In military operations today, one of the key requirements is to be able to win in both aircraft capabilities and logistics support,” said Nate Green, H-1 program manager. “There is no better example of two complementary aircraft regularly operating from expeditionary locations and completing as many missions together as the AH-1Z and UH-1Y.”
The Bell AH-1Z and UH-1Y offer advanced capabilities for defense missions and decrease the maintenance and operational footprint due to their 85% commonality. Bell is actively producing AH-1Zs for the U.S. Marine Corps and expects to complete deliveries this year, followed by production for international operators. Bell recently completed the first delivery of four AH-1Z helicopters to the Bahrain Defence Force and expects to complete the first international delivery of the AH-1Z this year.