PRAGUE, June 16 Bell Helicopter, a unit of
Textron, will submit an offer to the Czech government
for 12 UH-1Y combat helicopters by the end of the summer, a U.S.
Navy official said on Friday about a deal that could be worth
hundreds of millions of dollars.
If the Czech Republic buys the helicopters, it would be the
first country outside the United States to purchase the combat
aircraft used by the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral
Frank Morley told a news conference in Prague.
"Later this summer is when we are going to provide the offer
to the government," he said.
The Czech Defence Ministry has asked Bell and Italy's
Leonardo-Finmecanica to provide offers for a new generation of
helicopters for the European Union country and NATO member.
The Czech government will have 120 days to decide once the
offer has been received, a Bell official said.
Czech media has reported a deal could be signed in 2018,
following a new government coming into place after a
parliamentary election in October this year.
(Reporting by Michael Kahn, editing by David Evans)