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Sikorksy to supply Black Hawks for Australian firefighting
by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) Jul 28, 2017

Oshkosh to deliver P-19R firefighting vehicles to Marine Corps
Washington (UPI) Jul 27, 2017 - Oshkosh Defense has a received a $16 million order from the Marine Corps for the delivery of 23 P-19R Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting vehicles, the company announced on Thursday.

The order will be part of the 164 P-19Rs Oshkosh is expected to deliver through 2019. The firefighting vehicle was first fielded last month.

"The Oshkosh P-19R Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting vehicle integrates combat-proven performance and advanced firefighting technology to deliver cutting-edge on-road and off-road fire fighting capabilities," Oshkosh vice president and manager of Army and Marine Corps Programs Pat Williams said in a press release.

The P-19R firefighting vehicle has an independent suspension off-road system used on more than 25,000 military vehicles. It can carry 1,000 gallons of water, 130 gallons of firefighting foam, and 500 pounds of Halotron, a type of fire suppression chemical used in fire extinguishers.

It also has the Oshkosh Command Zone system with integral diagnostic abilities, making for easier maintenance. Its primary apparatus is the Striker nozzle pump.

The vehicle's primary use will be by Marine Corps Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Specialists. Functioning like their civilian counterparts, their primary mission is to handle aircraft crashes and firefighting in forward bases.

Sikorsky, Kaan Air Australia and StarFlight Australia have signed an agreement worth up to $50 million for 10 UH-60 Black Hawks to be converted to firefighting platforms.

The agreement would procure 10 former U.S. Army Black Hawks to be refurbished in Brisbane, Australia, and converted into aerial firebombers to combat brushfires and civil emergency situations.

The agreement includes options for the future purchase of 10 more Black Hawks for similar service. The helicopters would be operated by aerial service provider StarFlight for emergency response.

Kaan Air and StarFlight chief executive officer John Skeene said that the deal would be a big step for Australian aviation.

"The helicopters are being purchased by an Australian company, will be registered in Australia and most importantly, will be fully maintained and supported in Australia by the helicopter OEM Sikorsky and its supply chain commitment," Skeene said in a press release.

The planned refurbishment will include engine upgrades, gear boxes and the installation of terrain avoidance systems along with firefighting modifications.

The UH-50 Black Hawk is the primary medium-lift transport helicopter of the U.S. Army and several other nations where it has been exported. It has been produced in many variants to perform a wide variety of missions.

Over 4,000 Black Hawks have been produced since the platforms introduction in 1974. The U.S. Navy uses a ship-launched version of the platform known as the CH-60 Sea Hawk.

Portugal battles raging forest fires
Macao, Portugal (AFP) July 27, 2017
Forest fires raged in the early hours of Thursday in central Portugal, cutting off roads and forcing thousands to flee just a month after deadly blazes left more than 60 people dead. The biggest blaze was in Serta, in the Castelo Branco region, where more than a quarter of the country's firefighters were attempting to halt its progress. Portugal has been battling fresh fires since Sunday ... read more

Related Links
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology

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