SYDNEY June 22 (Xinhua) -- Two Australian Defence Force Black Hawk helicopters will be given to the New South Wales State (NSW) Rural Fire Service (RFS), in order to boost rescue and response capabilities in life or death emergencies.
Once withdrawn from military duties, the choppers will be "kitted out" by the RFS for transporting personnel to bushfires, floods and other disasters.
Pleased with Friday's announcement, deputy commissioner of the NSW RFS Rob Rogers told Xinhua the aircraft are predominantly for inserting firefighters into fires that start in remote areas.
"Where lightning strikes happen, we have a program where we winch firefighters into those areas to try to get those fires while they're small so they don't become problem fires," he explained.
In addition the choppers will be used for rescuing people from dangerous situations like fire affected areas and floods, as well as for water bombing operations.
With current RFS aircraft only able to carry four people plus crew, the new Black Hawks will now have the capability to fly around ten people plus crew.
Able to hold a cruising speed of 270 Kilometers per hour, the choppers will save crucial time in operations where every second counts.
The hand over is due to take place in 2019, when the Australian Defence Force start replacing its entire fleet of 39 Black Hawks with the more modern MRH-90 Taipan.