January 9, 2018 – Erickson Incorporated announced today the signed contract by the Korea Forest Service (KFS) for the purchase of two new Aircranes which will be used to supplement the Forest Service’s firefighting fleet. This order comes as an addition to a previously ordered S64E Aircrane which is currently under construction at Erickson with an expected delivery date in the third quarter of this year. The Forest Aviation Headquarters, which is a subsidiary of the Korea Forest Service has ordered two additional S-64E models equipped with firefighting tanks, sea snorkels, foam cannons, glass cockpits, composite main rotor blades, and NVG capability.
The S-64 Aircrane, which is already well-known in Korea has a reputation as a capable firefighting aircraft in their existing fleet.
Douglas Kitani, CEO and Director of Erickson said, “This was a global competition, and we were competing with manufacturers from around the world. We are pleased to bring the work and jobs to our Southern Oregon facility and apply Erickson’s unique skill set to augment Korea’s firefighting capabilities.”
The KFS was the first foreign government to purchase the S-64 from Erickson in 2001, and to date, it has operated a total of five Aircranes in Korea while maintaining a contract for parts and service support. With this new contract, the fleet of KFS Aircranes will total eight, with the seventh and eighth airframe expected to be delivered by the end of 2019.
The S-64 Helitanker is equipped with a 2650 gallon (10,000 liter) tank capable of rapid snorkeling of either fresh or salt water that helps provide a valuable asset for firefighting crews in both the initial attack phase of firefighting operations and also providing protection to structures in harm’s way. It has internal foam mixing capabilities and provides water or retardant dispensation utilizing eight coverage levels. The aircraft can be configured with a water cannon for high rise and structure protection. As populations and development expand, aerial firefighting over residential properties and structures becomes a more crucial part of the equation. Erickson’s S-64 excels at supporting ground firefighters in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), as well as high volume firebombing on large fires.