United Rotorcraft has received a purchase order from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) for the acquisition of a new Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk. United will reconfigure the aircraft into a Firehawk firefighting variant.
The purchase order follows a decision by the California Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees approving the purchase of up to 12 of the aircraft to replace the state’s aging UH-1H fleet over the next five years. The Sikorsky manufactured S-70 is based on the UH-60 Black Hawk military helicopter. It is equipped to endure the extreme physical stresses demanded of aerial firefighting and utility missions.
The Firehawk features next-generation technology that provides specific benefits to firefighting operators. Its features include a digital glass cockpit with flight management system for improved situation awareness, a rugged airframe and wide chord rotor blades for increased payload and maneuverability.