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Friday, June 16, 2006

Helisureste Expands Firefighting Fleet

Spain’s Helisureste Group plans to add 33 helicopters to its firefighting fleet for this summer’s firefighting season in southwestern Europe, bringing its total firefighting fleet to 46. The move virtually triples the size of its fleet. The fleet includes eight Kamov Ka-32s capable of dropping 1,190 gal. (4,500 liters) of water. Four of the Ka-32s were ordered in November last year, joining four delivered in 2004-2005. Helisureste’s 46 aircraft will be dispersed throughout Spain and the Canary Islands, operating from bases in Andalucia, Aragon, Baleares, Extremadura, Murcia and Valencia. They also will be used to transport firefighters and as command and control platforms. Helisureste said it has developed special audio/visual equipment that can provide 3D cartographic images of a wildfire directly to a ground command center. More

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