The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is contemplating acquiring up to seven new production commercial aircraft to serve in a multi-mission capacity, according to contract documents released Tuesday. The primary mission is the Forest Service Airtanker Mission focused on wildfire suppression and dropping retardant in support of ground firefighters to contain or control new, emerging and large fires.
The secondary mission includes two distinct type operations,
logistical support of firefighting crews and delivering critical
material to the wildfire area of operations. The firefighting crew
support includes movement of up to two firefighting crews (20
passengers per crew) and their equipment to anywhere in the United
States. The transportation of critical firefighting equipment
includes moving the Forest Service owned Modular Airborne Fire
Fighting System II to an area of operation.
The Federal Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations
Act, 2015 stated that funding shall be available for the purpose of
acquiring aircraft for the next-generation airtanker fleet to enhance
firefighting mobility, effectiveness, efficiency and safety. The USFS
intends to purchase aircraft to fulfill this congressional
The Forest Service is planning an
Industry Day Conference, during which potential offerors may obtain a
better understanding of the government requirement with this effort.
The Airtanker Modernization Industry Day will be held in the USFS
Pinchot Conference Room in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 26. The day will
consist of a presentation by the USFS on the project overview,
requirements and draft specifications for the project. Opportunities
will be available for the group to ask questions as well as
individual discussions with each offeror.