The Czech Republic has supplied Ukraine with a number of Mi-24 attack helicopters and, together with Slovakia, is currently repairing dozens of armored vehicles, which will return to combat once restored.
This was reported on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal with reference to the Pentagon, Ukrinform wrote.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has thanked the Czech government for their contribution, the newspaper said.
It is specified that the Ukrainian side received Soviet-made Mi-24 attack helicopters, which have already been sent to Ukraine in the context of joint efforts to reclaim its airspace.
Austin did not identify the type of helicopter or the quantity. The Czech Air Force operates the Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter which Ukraine possesses as well.
According to Flight Global, ‘the Czech Air Force operates 15 Soviet-era Mil Mi-24s and 19 Mi-17-series rotorcraft. The service has ordered four Bell AH-1Zs and eight UH-1Ys to replace them.
In addition, the Czech Republic and Slovakia received several batches of armored vehicles from Ukraine to restore them before they can be used in combat again.
These steps mark a significant increase in Western support for Ukraine in its efforts to repel Russian aggression.
In April, the Czech Republic became the first NATO country to report the transfer of tanks to Ukraine. Now it is the first to announce the supply of attack helicopters to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The Mil Mi-24 (NATO reporting name: Hind) first flew in 1969 and it became a feared symbol of Soviet military might during the Cold War. Since it was a mainstay of the Warsaw Pact, the Hind would have helped spearhead a Soviet military advance on Western Europe had conflict broken out.
Czechoslovakia became a user of the Mi-24 during the Cold War, and the Czech Air Force continues to operate a potent ‘Hind’ fleet, largely providing close support to soldiers on the ground.
A mixture of Mi-24V and newer Mi-35 versions, the latter being the designation applied to export variants, is currently in service with the 221st Helicopter Squadron at Náměšť nad Oslavou.
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