Lockheed Martin‘s Sikorsky subsidiary has completed the delivery of two S-70i Black Hawk helicopters that will be modified into a specialized configuration for the use of the Los Angeles county’s fire department.
The turnover ceremony for the future Firehawk-configuration aircraft occurred in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Lockheed said Wednesday.
Thomas Ewald, deputy fire chief of the L.A. County Fire Department’s air and wildland division, noted the need to build up the county’s current helicopter fleet to support day and night aerial firefighting amid recent wildland fires in L.A. and Southern California.
Firehawks are designed to support firefighting operations from the air and interoperate with other airborne firefighting vehicles as well as conduct medical, search-and-rescue and logistics missions.
The delivered S70i Black Hawk helicopters will be modeled with a 1,000-gallon water tank, extended landing gear, a single-pilot cockpit layout and medically equipped interior before joining the three other Firehawk helicopters of the L.A. County Fire Department.
S70i uses wide-chord rotor blades, a digital cockpit system, an integrated vehicle health management system as well as a terrain and obstacle avoidance system designed to notify aircrew regarding ground-based hazards.
Sikorsky delivered the first Firehawk to the L.A. County Fire Department in December 2000.