Turkey's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Tarimorman) has announced a tender for the purchase of new aircraft to support future wildfire-related firefighting efforts.
In a statement, the ministry has confirmed that it has begun a tendering process for the acquisition of a fleet of 75 aircraft, comprising 55 helicopters, 10 small tanker aircraft, five large tanker aircraft, and five amphibious aircraft.
The tender is being conducted through the Presidency of Defense Industry (SSB) agency, which handles the acquisition of defense technology on behalf of the Turkish government.
Summer 2021 forest fires boost need for aerial firefighting assets
The acquisitions are in response to the major forest fires which raged across much of Turkey in the summer of 2021. As of August 2021, 299 forest fires were underway in 49 out of 81 Turkish provinces. The fires killed eight people and countless animals, and scorched 83,810 hectares of land in the provinces of Manavgat, Marmaris, Bodrum, Köyceğiz and Gündoğmuş alone.
During last year’s fires, Turkey’s extant firefighting provisions proved insufficient to combat the blazes, with additional firefighting crews and vehicles eventually being called in to support efforts from other countries, including Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Croatia, Qatar and Iran.