Four remanufactured Sikorsky S-64F helicopters ordered from Erickson Air-Crane by Italy's State Forestry Corps will be fitted with upgraded avionics, including a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 flightdeck and Sagem autopilot.

The first S-64F firefighting Helitankers ordered under the $94 million deal will be delivered in June, and Erickson says the State Forestry Corps has an option for two more helicopters to be delivered by early 2006.

Erickson had nine Helitankers based in Europe last year for firefighting, six in Italy and three in Greece. The company says it has responded to a French tender for one aircraft for firefighting trials later this year. Erickson has formed European Air-Crane to market and operate S-64 heavylight helicopters in the region.

Source: Flight International