Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: ESLT) was awarded an approximately $100 million contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to procure six new firefighting aircraft and operate the firefighting squadron, which will consist of a total of fourteen aircraft, including eight previously procured by Elbit Systems. The contract, to be performed over an eight-year period, also covers flight hours, infrastructure upgrade, maintenance, airstrip operation, handling of fire retardants and other aspects of operating the squadron.
The firefighting aircraft, manufactured by Air Tractor, are single-engine aircraft, capable of carrying approximately 3, 000 liters of water and flying three hours without refueling.
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Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems commented, “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 four years ago following the Mount Carmel forest fire and is named after Elad Riben, the fire scout who was killed in this 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 inauguration 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 the country, providing a prompt and professional solution.
Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international defense electronics company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world. The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (“C4ISR”), unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”), advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence (“SIGINT”) systems, data links and communications systems and radios. It also focuses on the upgrading of existing military platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial aviation applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.