USA / Europe The Spartan has taken on a new critical mission; the role of an aerial firefighter and timing could not be better. In response to a demand for aerial assets, some countries have turned to single mission aircraft, meaning aircraft designed or retrofitted for one mission: firefighting. Employing single-use aircraft may be one of the most expensive routes in creating an effective aerial response. Instead, Caylym has introduced the Guardian advanced aerial firefighting system to be dropped by existing modern aircraft and highly trained crews. The aircraft need no modification and can be used on an as-needed basis, which enables the aircraft to perform any of the conventional missions it is designed for immediately before or after the firefighting mission.
Eleven of the fifteen attending countries have already entered into talks with Caylym as they look to fulfill this new mission. Caylym’s president, Rick Goddard, said, “There is no doubt that the Guardian is a game-changer. The ability to use aircraft like the C-27J and the C-130 adds an enormous fleet of aircraft that can respond to wildfire threats. The impact on our environment and the loss of homes, for example in Canada last month, is why we invested in the development of the Guardian over the last ten years; it’s an honor to be part of the solution.”
Large-scale worldwide wildfires have pushed current assets to the limit. “The beauty of the Guardian,” said Garrett Miller, marketing director, “is that the Guardian places the aerial firefighting mission and resources into the hands of the state Governors.” Though the U.S. does not have Spartans, the U.S. does have over 180 Air Guard C-130s that could be deployed. The Guardian has passed each of the military’s tests and has been approved for DoD testing operations. Though foreign countries have approved the Guardian for flight and use in military aircraft, the U.S. has been a bit slower to adopt. “Foreign governments are ahead of the U.S. on this issue,” said Goddard.
Leonardo approved the Guardian to fly and be dropped from the Spartan. Romania and Italy have already completed the process of certifying crews and aircraft to carry the Guardian. “The development,” says Goddard, “has allowed countries to add capacity to their firefighting efforts. Every rear-loading cargo aircraft, like the Spartan and C-130 Hercules, can become aerial firefighting assets without making any modifications to the airframes.”
The Guardian allows cargo aircraft to deliver tremendous payloads with each sortie. A C-27J can carry up to seven Guardians, delivering up to 7000 liters of liquid and a C-130 can carry up to sixteen and deliver a whopping 16,000 liters.