Military firefighters are getting a life-saving new £700,000 flame-battering super-vehicle which smashes through a warplane’s tough outer skin to put out fires.
The nozzle of the “Striker” can pummel through the walls of the plane and empty a tank of 1,800 litres of water into the insides of the plane within a minute.
Depending on the type of fire it is the nozzle can also spray 3,600 litres of fire destroying foam within a minute of the crew smashing into the plane with the nozzle.
Firemen and woman based at military bases throughout the UK and in places like Cyprus and the Falklands are getting 33 of the Striker fire vehicles to help rescue air crews within seconds.
At RAF Akrotiri, in Cyprus RAF crews are working round-the-clock sending British Typhoon fighter bombers into daring missions against a resurging Islamic State fighters.
In the past few months scores of key ISIS leaders and fighters have been killed in air strikes by RAF crews, along with dozens of ammo caches being blown up.
But whilst these heavily-armed jets can protect themselves by dodging ground-to-air missiles often they are refuelled mid-air by RAF Voyager tankers.
Less nimble spy planes also fly above war-torn Syria and Iraq and ground crews have to be able quickly to put out flames on planes if they run into trouble when they land.
RAF Lossiemouth has also seen intense activity recently with Typhoon crews scrambling to ward off Russian bomber spy planes approaching the UK north of Scotland.
Warplane fires can happen as a result of engine trouble or enemy action and fire crews need quickly to make them safe so they can save air crews within seconds.
Government consultant Capita is supplying the Strikers after signing a 12 year contract to oversee the £525 million Defence Fire and Rescue project.
The Strikers carry a 50 ft-long boom which puts distance between fire crews in the cab and the fire itself in case the aircraft blows up before they hit the plane’s walls.
Military fire crews are currently being trained by Capita teams in how to use the Strikers.
Jason Clay, MD of Capita Fire and Rescue said:
“This is a key milestone in our work to transform the MoD’s fire and rescue service.
“These new vehicles will soon improve operational capability whilst reducing risk to our firefighters, defence personnel and the critical assets they operate.”
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