FILE - In this April 17, 2017 file photo released by U.S. Marine Corps, an AH-1Z Viper prepares to land at the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, Calif. On Tuesday Nov. 12, 2019, the Czech defense minister says the government is planning to sign a deal with the U.S. counterpart to purchase 12 military helicopters. The Czechs will get eight UH-1Y Venom chopters and four AH-1Z Viper ones. (Cpl. Harley Robinson/U.S. Marine Corps via AP/File)

Czechs to sign deal to buy 12 US military by year's end

Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar says the deal is worth the worth 14.6 billion Czech crowns ($631 million) and the helicopters are to be delivered in 2023 to replace the obsolete Soviet-made Mi-24s.

The Czechs will get eight UH-1Y Venom choppers and four AH-1Z Vipers from U.S. maker Bell Hellicopter.

Metnar said Tuesday the contract includes equipment, ammunition, spare parts and training of the personnel.

He said the deal best covers the need of the Czech air forces.

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