As a US-based operator of the CHINOOK, ROTAK worked closely with Helitak to develop the FT12K CH-47, a lightweight fire suppression tank specifically designed for the helicopter.
ROTAK will be performing flight testing in Q1 2023 and the first CHINOOK equipped with the FT12K will be on static display at the upcoming HAI Heli-Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2023.
ROTAK General Manager, Ely Wood, said: “This turn-key firefighting platform is an industry-first and combines the versatility of the helicopter with Helitak’s innovative tank design.”
Founder and CEO of Helitak, Jason Schellaars, added: “Building our relationship with ROTAK is a major milestone for the future of our operations and is another step towards making our tanks more readily accessible in the fight against wildfires.”
The tank’s construction will allow for greater liquid carrying capacity, which can be dropped in easily configurable patterns through integrated controls. This means that while on site at an event, the aircraft can support fire-fighting ground crews with continuous water or retardant drops.