Greece signs contract to acquire seven De Havilland Canada DHC-515 Firefighters

De Havilland DHC-515 Firefighter
De Havilland Canada

The Greek government has signed a contract for the purchase of seven De Havilland Canada DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft in response to the country’s rise in devastating wildfires.

The deal was finalized on March 24, 2024, as the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Montréal to celebrate Greek Independence Day and to reaffirm the country’s close strategic, economic, and cultural ties.

The agreement for the De Havilland Canada DHC-515 Firefighters, which also includes spare parts, training, and support, was negotiated by the Canadian Commercial Cooperation (CCC) and the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection of Greece.

“We were pleased to witness the signing by Greece and the Canadian Commercial Corporation for Greece to purchase and acquire seven state-of-the-art DHC-515 firefighting aircraft. These aircraft will help fight devastating forest fires that are increasingly ravaging areas of Southern Europe,” the two Prime Ministers said in a joint statement.

Two of the seven aircraft will be part of an EU RescEU reserve program, allowing the DHC-515 Firefighters to be used by other union members in times of need.

“We are pleased to be supplying these new aircraft to Greece to protect the communities and natural resources of the country. Greece has been flying CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft for nearly 50 years, and we look forward to continuing to support the Hellenic Air Force and the Civil Protection as they acquire these new DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft,” Jean-Philippe Côté, Vice President Programs, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, said.

The DHC-515 Firefighter

Building on the foundation of the iconic Canadair CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft, the DHC-515 Firefighter is a new purpose-built aerial firefighting aircraft

The Hellenic Air Force operates the CL-215 and CL-415 aircraft, but there is concern that longer and hotter summers will require a new fleet of modern planes.

The DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft delivers the highest quantity of water into the fire-zone per day (nearly 700,000 L), more than twice as much as its nearest competitor.

The aircraft refills its tanks in 12 seconds, from nearby fresh or saltwater sources including rivers, small lakes, and oceans, while land-based aircraft must return to airport after each drop.

“Canada is proud to bring De Havilland Canada’s superior, next generation aerial firefighting aircraft to Greece and to help the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection to combat wildfires. Canada understands the challenges Greece is facing, and we are here to provide practical tools to address the wildfires that threaten the security of its citizens,” Kim Douglas, VP of Business Development and Marketing at CCC, said.

For over 75 years, CCC has been helping Canadian companies like De Havilland Canada to establish successful commercial relationships with foreign governments.

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