Russian Helicopters, part of state defence holding Oboronprom and a leading global designer and manufacturer of helicopters, has launched the Global Helicopter Firefighting Initiative (GHFI) to increase the use of fire-fighting helicopters specially equipped with the suspended fire-fighting systems (Bambi Buckets), water cannons and other fire-fighting equipment.
The GHFI will include makers of fire-fighting systems and equipment that will assist in the improvement of helicopter-based firefighting systems. Russian Helicopters plans to involve its own design bureaus in the search for new engineering solutions in the field.
One product in the GHFI will be the Russian-built Ka-32A11BC helicopter, which can be equipped with various fire-fighting systems. The helicopter is already popular in more than 30 countries, with 188 machines operating successfully in Russia, Canada, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, China, Bulgaria, Austria, South Korea, Chile, Indonesia and Japan, among others.
The Ka-32A11BC meets AP-29 standards and was awarded type certification in 2009 by the EASA. In December 2012 the helicopter received its flightworthiness certification in Australia. Australia has battled fierce fires in 2013. Blazes engulfed Victoria and New South Wales in January, with dozens of homes damaged as well as the renowned Siding Springs observatory, home to Australia’s largest optical telescope. The fires came close to a military base near Sydney that houses a large weapons store.
The Ka-32A11BC can tackle virtually all types of fires both on the ground and in high-rise buildings by deploying a collapsible Bambi Bucket and water cannon. Coaxial rotors make the Ka-32A11BC the only helicopter in its class that can execute difficult manoeuvres with a high degree of accuracy and hover with great stability even in turbulent atmospheric conditions.