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The US Air Force has picked the Coulson Aviation USA retardant aerial delivery systems (RADS-XXL) to outfit seven former Coast Guard Lockheed Martin HC-130H search-and-rescue turboprops as firefighting assets for the Forest Service.
The 15,000l (4,000gal) system that can jettison 6,000l (1,600gal) of retardant per second was chosen over other types like the modular airborne firefighting system (MAFFS), which is already used by Air National Guard and Reserve C-130s in support of the wildfire mission.
The selection of the Canada's Coulson Group to deliver a firefighting system for the HC-130H platforms concludes a long-running contracting process that began in July 2014 and entered source selection one year ago with the release of the final statement of work in May 2015.