Coulson Aviation has announced that it has been awarded the contract for Australia’s National Large Air Tanker (LAT).
Tanker 139, a converted Boeing 737, is the latest addition to Coulson’s Fireliner fleet and will be based in Sydney but support additional locations around the country.
As the National LAT, Tanker 139 will wear the moniker ‘Phoenix’, because of a naming competition last year in Australian schools, jointly won by Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour, St Patrick’s College Campbelltown and Christian College Geelong.
The 737 is in Australia funded by the Commonwealth government through a partnership with the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC). The contract is for two years with the option to extend.
Phoenix is equipped with Coulson Aviation’s Retardant Aerial Delivery System (RADS), the patented tanking and release system. With RADS onboard, the aircraft is capable of dropping up to 4,000 gallons of retardant or water at flow rates of up to 3,000 gallons per second.
Coulson Aviation Australia CEO, Britt Coulson, said: “Coulson is proud to provide our state-of-the-art aircraft to the Federal Australian Government. This aircraft is an incredibly efficient bomber and the crews that operate each of our aircraft are second to none.
“Working alongside dedicated Australian firefighters, Phoenix will be one of the key assets supporting this upcoming bush fire season.”
Coulson Aviation was also awarded a four-year aerial firefighting contract in December by the government of Western Australia, which included the provision and operation of a C-130H Hercules Airtanker.