The order is for the capability to fight fires with two firefighting aircraft, from 1 April to 30 September, through to 2023. Under the contract there is also the opportunity to trigger an option for two more aircraft, beginning with the 2021 fire season. This resource will be available for Sweden and for EU. Saab has during a period of one year, established aerial firefighting capabilities, using the Air Tractor AT-802 F firefighting aircraft, with the associated pilot and technician skills, as well as the specific permits for their operation.
"We are part of Sweden's national security and our specialist expertise and flight permits made it natural for us to complement our operations in Nyköping with aerial firefighting capabilities," says Ellen Molin, Head of Saab's Support and Services business area. "It is important to have a prompt national response to forest fires, and this service is going to help deliver that."
The AT-802 F is a water-bombing aircraft that in the event of a forest fire can release 35,000-50,000 litres of water per hour. The firefighting aircraft will be based in Nyköping, where Saab already has aviation operations for, among other things, aerial target towing and support for the Swedish Coast Guard’s aircraft.
From Nyköping, firefighting aircraft can within two hours reach Copenhagen or eastern Finland and within three hours, Luleå in the north of Sweden. If necessary, the firefighting aircraft can be based at another location with advanced technical and maintenance resources. Rapid response to fires is crucial.
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