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Moroccan Air Force receives fifth Bombardier 415

altThe Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) received its fifth and final Bombardier 415 firefighting aircraft from Canada earlier this month.

The aircraft was seen transiting the United Kingdom on August 31 from Iceland, on its way to Morocco, where it joined another four delivered over the last two years, Air Forces Daily reports.

Morocco received a single Bombardier 415 in February 2011. Another four were ordered in March that year for $162 million. Deliveries took place in May, 2011, February 2013 and May 2013.

The aircraft will operated in the fire-fighting role alongside the Gendarmerie Royale’s (State Police) fleet of firefighting aircraft, which include helicopters, ten Ayres S2R-T-34 Turbo Thrush crop sprayers and one Socata Rallye MS 893.

The RMAF also flies a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules equipped with the Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) in the firefighting role.

The Bombardier 415 is a specialised firefighting aircraft that also can be used for surveillance, transport and search and rescue duties. It is based on Canadair’s earlier piston-engined CL-215. When fighting fires, the aircraft can scoop up more than 6 000 litres of water, which can then be mixed with foam fire suppressant.

The Bombardier 415MP surveillance variant features a forward-looking infrared sensors, side-looking airborne radar (SLAR), weather radar, video cameras, cabin accommodation for stretchers and berths and space for a boat. This model has been promoted for maritime surveillance, search and rescue and other duties and is in service with Greece and Malaysia. The latter uses it for maritime patrol duties.

To date, 84 Bombardier 415s have been ordered by eight countries. More than 217 000 hours have been flown by the fleet as of October 2012 and more than 957 300 water drops have been conducted, according to the manufacturer. In total, 162 CL-215s, CL-215T turbine conversions and Bombardier 415s are in service around the world.

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