The Mi-26Ts helicopter produced by Russian Helicopters (part of the Rostec State Corporation) supplied to China in the summer of 2016 extinguished a major forest fire near Dzianide, in Zhejiang province, Republic of China. The Ka-32 helicopter of the local fire station was also involved in the operation. The fire was extinguished within several hours.
The fire occurred 60 km from a settlement in a mountainous area, therefore, access for ground transport was hampered. The Mi-26Ts and Ka-32 helicopters promptly flew to the fire site and threw more than 250 tons of water on the fire. Within several hours, the fire was fully extinguished. The neighbouring settlements did not suffer.
“We are happy that our equipment performed commendably in the emergency situation. China has traditionally demonstrated interest in Russian fire fighting helicopters, and the experience has shown that this choice is justified in actual operational conditions,” said Alexander Shcherbinin, Deputy CEO for marketing and business development, Russian Helicopters.
Mi-26Ts (certified according to the flight standards of China) is the world’s heaviest serially produced helicopter. It can carry the total maximum payload of up to 20 tons in the transport cabin or on the external sling. The helicopter has proven its efficiency during suppression of major fire spots in the PRC on numerous occasions. The main objective of Mi-26Ts in emergency response is to deliver special-purpose machinery and fire brigades to the fire point and throw water on the burning forested area.
Ка-32А11ВС is a medium multirole coaxial helicopter designed for complicated fire suppression assignments, search and rescue operations, evacuation of patients and injured persons and patrolling and support of operations of intelligence services. The fire fighting Ка-32А11ВС has more than 40 fire fighting equipment options, including Bambi-Bucket and Simplex systems, water cannons for horizontal fire suppression.
At present, the State Forestry Administration of China operates four Mi-26Ts and 15 Ka-32A11BC helicopters. They serve successfully and take part in forest fire fighting every year.