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Record Aerial Fleet Ready for Bushfire Season

December 7, 2023 7:51 am in by
Black Hawk Helicopter. Photo: CFS

Thirty-one aircraft are in place to protect South Australians and defend their properties ahead of the predicted hot and dry bushfire season – an additional five aircraft than last year.

A $26.7 million State Government investment has created the largest ever aerial firefighting fleet assemble, with fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.

Two new Blackhawk helicopters, with 4,500L capacity for water and foam, were unveiled at the Claremont Airbase on Friday before heading off to their summer postings.

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The other three new aircraft include two Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) with a 3,000L capacity for water, foam, water enhancer or fire retardant; and one Multi-Mission Machine (Eurocopter B3 Squirrel) for air surveillance/ intelligence, strategic bucketing work, aerial incendiary ignition and firefighting crew transportation.

With the expansion of the aviation fleet, CFS now has the capability to live stream aerial intelligence, providing real-time observations of the fire ground to assist with creation of warnings, fire predictions and strategic decision making.

The largest ever investment in South Australia’s aerial firefighting fleet has enabled two more Aviation Operations Officers to be recruited, further bolstering crucial CFS resources.

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