Libya approves purchase of four firefighting helicopters


The Libyan cabinet has approved the Ministry of Interior’s plans to purchase four helicopters for the National Security Authority’s fire-fighting division.

The approval of the deal last month was a follow-up to an initial proposal that was put to the Libyan cabinet in December last year after French-based Airbus Helicopters offered to supply the aircraft at a cost of $53.1 million.

The final approval by the cabinet cleared the Ministry of Finance to go ahead with the purchase from a single bidder without going through the open government tendering process for acquisitions.

Although the Libyan government did not provide any specifications for the model to be acquired for fire-fighting, Airbus Helicopters is currently offering the EC225 model as the top firefighting machine in its wide range of products.
“Thanks to its incredible versatility and load transport capacity, the EC225 can support fire ground units, offering quick reaction in the most delicate situations,” a statement posted on the company’s website says. It says the EC225 an 11-ton helicopter which is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 2A1 engines.
“The main gear box and the 5-blade rotor give this machine the power for a high payload, a long range and a fast cruise speed, along with flight endurance that exceeds 5 hours and 30 minutes. Most of all, this aircraft meets the latest CS-29 amendments, including the 30-minute dry run demonstration for the main gear box,” the company says.

For the firefighting role the aircraft has an internal 4000-litre water tank and comes with a retractable rapid pump which can fill the tank in 90 seconds.