Prague - Iraq is negotiating with Prague about the purchase of Czech Russian-made Mi-24 helicopters, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) told journalists today, adding that Iraq is interested in buying seven Mi-24s immediately and further 40 in the future.
Ilustrační foto - Jednotka české armády předvedla 18. června u Strašic na Rokycansku eliminaci povstalecké základny v rámci Dne pozemního vojska Bahna 2011. Záchranný vrtulník W3A Sokol (uprostřed) chráněný dvojicí bojových vrtulníků Mi-24 transportuje z místa bojů zraněného vojáka. ČTK ČTK
Besides, the Czech-Iraqi negotiations about the Czech sale of redundant subsonic fighters L-159 are underway, but the current crisis has complicated them, Stropnicky said.
At present, the Czech military uses 17 Mi-24 helicopters, a part of which has been overhauled and adapted for night vision.
The ministry says the military needs all these helicopters.
The Iraqi demand may be satisfied by LOM, the state-controlled aircraft repair company, if it put into operation other Mi-24s that it bought from the military in the past, Stropnicky said.
The negotiations about the Czech supply of L-159s has got "slightly complicated" now that the Iraqi government is fighting Islamic radicals, Stropnicky said.
"Nevertheless, a chance that the deal will be completed still exists. The need [on Baghdad´s part] persists," he added.