A federal contract was awarded Tuesday to Douglas County-based Minden Air Corporation to supply the U.S. Forest Service with "next generation" air tankers that will replace the aging fleet.
Congressman Mark Amodei praised the U.S. Forest Service decision to award Minden Air Corporation the air tankers for wildfire suppression. The Forest Service is transitioning to the next generation air tankers to replace its aging “legacy” fleet.
“I was pleased that the U.S. Forest Service recognized Minden Air’s expertise in this specialized field and that the next generation airtanker transition will proceed,” said Amodei in a press statement. “The addition of these new airtankers is vital as we are down to a core of eight legacy large air tankers at a time when much of the West faces significant fire potential. These planes are an important asset in our efforts to not only protect urban and rural populations, but to preserve sage hen habitat and prevent an endangered species listing.”
Next generation air tankers are turbine powered, can carry a minimum of 3,000 gallons of retardant, and have a cruise speed of at least 300 knots when fully loaded.