Sikorsky has delivered two S-70i Black Hawk helicopters to the County of Los Angeles at a ceremony in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. The helicopters will be customised to a Firehawk configuration to meet LA County Fire Department’s specifications.
In 2018 the helicopters will be modified by a specialist outfitter with a 1,000gal (3,785 litres) water tank, extended landing gear, single pilot cockpit layout and a medically-equipped interior.
The two new LA County Fire Department Firehawk helicopters will increase to five the department’s Firehawk fleet. A Firehawk helicopter performs aerial firefighting and can plan missions and direct other firefighting aircraft, additionally providing emergency medical service transport, search and rescue and logistic support.
Thomas Ewald, deputy fire chief of the LA County Fire Department’s Air and Wildland Division, said: “With the recent catastrophic wildland fires in LA and the southern California region, the need for additional effective firefighting resources, such as the S-70i Firehawk, is readily apparent.
“These two additional aircraft will enhance our existing fleet and strengthen both our day and night aerial firefighting capability, ultimately improving our ability to protect the lives and property of our citizens.”
Separately, Sikorsky announced on December 18 it has received notice that the City of San Diego intends to award a contract for one S-70i for conversion to Firehawk configuration.