Greece Strengthens Firefighting Arsenal with Canadian Planes

Greece, a country that has been ravaged by wildfires in recent years, has taken a significant step towards bolstering its defenses against such disasters. On Thursday, the Greek Parliament approved the purchase of seven firefighting aircraft De Havilland from Canada. This move is part of a broader effort to revamp Greece's aging fleet and enhance its capabilities to combat wildfires. The aircraft, identified as DHC-515, are being purchased from the Canadian Commercial Corporation for a total of 361 million euros, equivalent to approximately 392 million dollars. These new aircraft are expected to be delivered between the years 2027 and 2030.


The DHC-515 aircraft offers several advantages over the current Canadair fleet that Greece possesses. They can carry larger quantities of water to dump on affected areas and can fly for longer durations. This increased capacity and endurance will significantly enhance Greece's ability to respond to and manage wildfires. In addition to bolstering Greece's own firefighting capabilities, two of the seven jets will be part of the EU RescEU reserve program. This means that Greece can lend these aircraft to other EU countries during emergencies, thereby contributing to a collective effort to manage wildfires across the European Union.

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Wildfires have long been a common occurrence during the summer in Greece. However, rising temperatures and drought conditions have led to an increase in their frequency and size. This has raised questions about the government's ability to stem the damage caused by these fires. In fact, fires last year destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of land in the northeast of the country. The deadliest blaze on record occurred outside Athens in 2018, claiming the lives of 104 people.


The purchase of these aircraft is part of a larger 2.1 billion euro scheme, which is mostly funded by the EU. Under this scheme, Greece will receive various firefighting equipment, including drones, fire detectors, fire engines, and meteorological stations. This comprehensive approach to enhancing Greece's firefighting capabilities underscores the country's commitment to protecting its land and citizens from the devastating impact of wildfires. In conclusion, the approval of the purchase of seven firefighting planes from Canada represents a significant investment by Greece in its firefighting capabilities. It is a clear demonstration of the country's commitment to combating the increasing threat of wildfires, protecting its citizens, and contributing to EU-wide emergency response efforts.

Also Read:

- Greece wildfires erupt on mainland, killing two people

Rhodes wildfire forces thousands of evacuations, tourists flee


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