Elbit Systems has won a $100 million contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) to procure six new firefighting aircraft and operate the firefighting squadron.
The Squadron consists of fourteen aircraft, including eight previously procured by Elbit Systems.
The 8-year term contract also covers flight hours, infrastructure upgrade, maintenance, airstrip operation, handling of fire retardants and other aspects of operating the squadron.
The firefighting aircraft, manufactured by Air Tractor, are single-engine aircraft, capable of carrying approximately 3,000 liters of water and flying three hours without refueling.
Elbit Systems has been cooperating with the Israeli Air Force, firefighting units, the Jewish National Fund and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority in developing the squadron's operational procedures and qualifying designated airstrips. The aircraft will be flown by CHIM-NIR's pilots, the project's subcontractor.
Since its inauguration in 2011, the firefighting squadron has performed over 4,600 missions, accumulated over 2,500 flight hours and has helped extinguish over 500 potentially destructive fires across the country, providing a prompt and professional solution.