Croatia and Greece order DHC-515s

Gepubliceerd op 2 april 2024 om 22:30

© Matthisphotography

The Government of Croatia announced on 14 March that it has ordered two DHC-515 Firefighters. The country is one of the six member states (along with France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) that, with the support of the European Commission, is procuring the new firefighting aircraft that will establish permanent firefighting capacities at the level of the European Union. The Croatian aircraft, with a value of 105 million euros, and an additional list of spare parts worth more than 7 million euros are fully funded by the European Union.

One week later, on 21 March, the Greek Parliament passed a deal to buy seven DHC-515s worth 361 million euros. 

The aircraft are purchased as part of a revamp of Greece's ageing fleet of CL-215 and CL-415 water-bombers, as well as PZL M-18 Dromaders and other types flown by civilian contractors.

They are expected to be delivered between 2027 and 2030, according to the agreement. Two of the new DHC-515s will be part of an EU RescEU reserve programme, which means that Greece can lend them to other EU countries in emergencies.

In November 2022 the French Government had already announced the purchase of sixteen new firefighting aircraft, as replacement for the current twelve Canadair CL-415 Super Scoopers. Although the exact type was not mentioned at that time, insiders were convinced that the order consisted of DHC-515s.

© Matthisphotography

With an orderbook filled with at least 25 orders for the DHC-515, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. will surely reopen the production line. As most people will know, the DHC-515 is the latest version of the purpose built firefighter, based on the piston-engined Canadair CL-215 design of the Sixties.

The prototype of this CL-215 made first flight on 23 October 1967. Later versions included the turbo-engine powered CL-215T and CL-415, both built by Canadair too. In late 2016, Viking Air Ltd. in Sydney (BC), Canada acquired the Type Certificates of the CL-215, CL-215T and CL-415. Viking even developed its own improved version, the CL-415EAF, (‘Enhanced Aerial Firefighter’). On 31 March 2022 De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. announced that they intended to build their own improved version as the DHC-515 Firefighter.

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