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Bell Textron has been awarded a contract to produce and deliver AH-1Z Flight Training Devices (FTDs) for the new helicopter fleet of the Czech Republic.

The FTD contract was signed with the US Government.

The training devices will help the Czech Air Force pilots get used to their new H-1 helicopters.

It will be used for simulation and training purposes for the combined AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters pilots.

The contract enables the delivery of Bell’s expertise throughout the Czech Air Force’s helicopter modernisation programme.

Bell H-1 vice-president and programme director Mike Deslatte said: “The Flight Training Device will provide Czech operators with the perfect tools for familiarising themselves with their new H-1 helicopters.

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“The FTD for the Czech Air Force will ensure training activities progress smoothly in line with the delivery of the aircraft themselves.”

Flight simulators manufacturer FlightSafety International and Czech company VR Group have been selected as key subcontractors for production.

FlightSafety will support device production by providing simulation training-related hardware and software.

It will also provide the control loading and visual display systems.

Following the device’s delivery, VR Group will take hold of maintenance and support for the device.

VR Group technical director Ivo Gamba said: “Working with Bell on the delivery and maintenance of the Flight Training Device for the Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet opens up the possibility for us to further strengthen our leading long-term role in the country’s air force simulation capabilities.

“As one of the Czech Republic’s leading providers of defence training solutions, we are extremely excited to play our part in providing the FTD in cooperation with the team at Bell.”

The Czech Republic’s new H-1 helicopter fleet production is going as scheduled.

The company’s Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center recently received its first UH-1Y cabin for the Czech fleet.

Bell expects production and delivery completion of the Czech Republic’s new AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters by 2023.