Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) has been awarded a $100 million from the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) to procure six new firefighting aircraft and operate the firefighting squadron. The squadron will consist of 14 aircraft, including eight aircraft previously procured by Elbit Systems.
The contract, to be performed over an eight-years, also covers flight hours, infrastructure upgrade, maintenance, airstrip operation, handling fire retardants and other aspects of operating the squadron.
this is Elbit's second major Israeli contract in two days after it was awarded a $90 million contract yesterday to maintain the Israel Air Force's F-16 aircraft.
The firefighting aircraft, manufactured by Air Tractor, are single-engine aircraft, capable of carrying 3,000 liters of water and flying 3 hours without refueling.
Elbit Systems president and CEO Bezhalel Machlis said, “We are very proud to be selected for this opportunity to harness our professional capabilities and vast experience to the collective efforts of protecting Israel's residents and natural landscape”.
The Elad firefighting squadron was founded 4 years ago following the Mount Carmel forest fire tragedy and is named after Elad Riben, the teenage fire scout that was killed in the fire.
Since then, Elbit Systems has been cooperating with the IAF, 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 establishment 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 Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 5, 2015
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