The Global Helicopter Firefighting Initiative

The Global Helicopter Firefighting Initiative (GHFI) was launched by Russian Helicopters in 2013 and is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of specialized firefighting helicopters equipped with water discharge devices (WDD), water cannons and other fire extinguishing systems.

All enterprises engaged in the production of firefighting systems and firefighting equipment for helicopters and associated innovative technologies for improving helicopter firefighting systems are invited to participate in GHFI. In connection with the implementation of this program, Russian Helicopters intends to involve its own design bureaus in the development of new engineering solutions in the realm of helicopter firefighting.

According to experts, man-made and naturally occurring fires have become a global threat. Each year fires cause colossal damage to the environment worldwide and to the economies of many countries. The inception of the GHFI program is intended to fulfil one aspect of Russian Helicopters’ mission – to combat to this threat.

Russian Helicopters manufactures a number of helicopters which either directly or in specific modifications can be used to extinguish fires.

The Ka-32A11BC – multipurpose and universal

The Russian-made firefighting helicopter Ka-32A11BC could become one of the most effective instruments of GHFI. The Ka-32A11BC is capable of extinguishing fires in practically all kinds of fire situations, including in high-rise buildings, through the use of a helibucket or water cannon. Thanks to the advantages inherent in its co-axial rotor system, the Ka-32A11BC is the only helicopter in its class capable of performing complex manoeuvres with a high degree of accuracy and maintaining remarkable hovering stability in unstable atmospheric conditions.

It is no surprise that the Ka-32A11BC has been selected as the symbol of the Global Firefighting Initiative.


The Mi-8/17 – any time, any place

Helicopters of the Mi-8/17 series have recommended themselves as reliable, easy-to-use and universal machines operating in dozens of countries around the world. The secret of the success of the Mi8-17 is the fact that it can perform a very broad array of missions. In firefighting and fire response these helicopters can be used not only with water discharge devices such as the Bambi Bucket but also to carry out many other tasks, such as the transport of cargoes and people. This can play an important role in the deployment of rescuers and firefighters, evacuation operations as well as delivering humanitarian aid to disaster-affected areas. For example, following the Great Sichuan Earthquake in China in 2008, Mi-171E helicopters provided invaluable assistance in disaster-response efforts.

The latest model of the Mi-8/17 – the Mi-171A2 – represents another qualitative step forward for this legendary series and could become the most effective helicopter in this group.


Mi-26T – heavyweight champion

In situations where the power of an ordinary helicopter is not sufficient, the heavy-lifting Mi-26T can be brought in to do the job. This is the largest transport helicopter in the world currently in serial production. Helicopters of this type are actively used to carry out a wide variety of tasks – transport, evacuation and even firefighting missions. The Mi-26T is capable of carrying up to 20 tonnes of cargo in cabin and its water discharge device (on the firefighting version Mi-26TP) is capable of carrying 15 cubic meters of water.

At present the Mi-26T2 is being readied for serial production. This updated version of the helicopter has round-the-clock flight capability, a smaller crew and a new avionics suite. 


Russian helicopters magazine
Issue #1 (36) 2019
2019 year