Six new airplanes will join the aerial firefighting unit, following an acquisition deal signed these days
Vered Talala | Translation: Liran Ackerman
Six new airplanes will be joining the IAF aerial firefighting unit in the following months doubling its six existing airplanes. The acquisition deal is a part of a comprehensive process that originated from operational need for aerial firefighting.
Now, the unit will have the ability to respond to fire in two different locations. “That way, the airplanes will reach their destination faster and extinguish the fire before it spreads”, explained Lieutenant Colonel Eran, Commander of IAF firefighting unit. “This year will mark a quantum leap in the capabilities of the unit”.
The new capabilities of the unit will keep developing until the “Fire Season” of 2015, which begins in May. Until then, the firefighting pilots will undergo four month of night flights training, allowing the pilots to fly during nighttime and prepare for the next day, a capability they do not possess at the moment. In October, the unit will practice in cooperation with other units from other countries for the first time.
“Israel is among the world’s safest countries”
“Unlike previous years, where it took the firefighters a long time to arrive at the scene of the fire and extinguish it, this year the time of reaction has shortened and human lives were saved”, said Shahar Eilon, Chief Firefighting Commissioner. “We can safely say that when it comes to firefighting and life saving, Israel is among the safest countries in the world today”.
“I believe that in a couple of years, the aerial firefighting pilots will be able to take off and locate a fire from above without the need for guidance from ground firefighters”, stated Brigadier General (Res.) Udi Zohar, CEO of CHIM-NIR Group. “We will bring firefighting to new heights and provide maximum security for the citizens of Israel”.