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United Rotorcraft Orders Sikorsky Black Hawk Helicopters

United Rotorcraft, a division of Air Methods Corporation, has awarded Sikorsky a contract for five S-70 Black Hawk helicopters. The bulk order will allow United Rotorcraft to quickly deliver these new production aircraft to aerial firefighting in support of public agencies battling increasingly destructive wildland fires.United Rotorcraft is the only company authorized by Sikorsky to modify Black Hawk aircraft to the FIREHAWK configuration."The FIREHAWK helicopter is fast becoming one of the most powerful and effective aerial firefighting assets in California, attacking and extinguishing wildfires before they spread out of control," said Larry Alexandre, United Rotorcraft president.Sikorsky will deliver the five S-70 Black Hawks over the next 7 to 18 months. The aircraft will be produced at Lockheed Martin's PZL Mielec manufacturing line in Poland. Deliveries are expected between early 2022 and mid-2023. The first to be received will be configured as a FIREHAWK helicopter for the State of Colorado.To modify a Black Hawk helicopter to the FIREHAWK configuration, United Rotorcraft installs and integrates a 1,000-gallon external water tank system to the aircraft's belly. Fingertip controls allow pilots to drop the precise amount of water with accuracy and refill the tank via a retractable snorkel in under a minute while hovering 10 feet over a water source. The FIREHAWK has the ability to transport up to 12 firefighters, provide medical care on board, or perform search and rescue operations depending on the customization for public agencies.There are currently thirteen S-70 FIREHAWK helicopters fighting fires across California, operated by CALFIRE, Los Angeles County Fire Department, and San Diego Fire Rescue Department.
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