De Havilland Canada introduces DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (De Havilland Canada) has introduced the De Havilland DHC-515 Firefighter (previously called the CL-515) program, which builds on the history of the Canadair CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft that have been a part of European and North American aerial firefighting fleets for more than 50 years.

According to the Canadian aircraft manufacturer, major upgrades are being made to boost the functionality as well as the effectiveness of the rugged firefighting aircraft.

Brian Chafe — CEO of De Havilland Canada said: “After an extensive business and technical review, we are pleased to announce that we have launched the De Havilland DHC-515 Firefighter program, which will involve negotiating contracts with our European customers and ramping up for production.”

De Havilland Canada introduces De Havilland DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft

De Havilland Canada introduces De Havilland DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft. Photo courtesy of CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada said that it has secured letters of intent from European customers to buy the first 22 aircraft, subject to the positive result of government-to-government negotiations via the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC), the contracting agency of the Canadian government.

The Canadian aircraft manufacturer anticipates the first deliveries of the DHC-515 aircraft by 2025 or so, with deliveries of aircraft 23 and beyond to start at the end of 2030.

De Havilland Canada, which purchased the Canadair CL program in 2016, has been thinking a return to production since 2019.  The company said that the new DHC-515 Firefighter matches the other aircraft in its fleet when it comes to lifespan, ruggedness and the quality of Canadian aerospace engineering.

The aircraft manufacturer plans to undertake the final assembly of the aircraft in Calgary, Alberta where work on the CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft is going on.

Brian Chafe said: “To bring the DHC-515 into production is important for not only our company, but countries around the world who rely on our aircraft to protect their people and forests.

“We understand the important role the previous aircraft have played in protecting people and property and as our climate continues to change and summers increase in both temperature and length, the DHC-515 will be an important tool for countries around the globe to use in putting out fires.”

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