Basil Kikilias: We proceed to the last generation’s Canadaair acquisition half a century after supplying the previous ones

“In 1974 our country through the Air Force acquired 9 CL 215. I am pleased to announce to you that half a century later, 50 years later, we proceed to acquire the last generation of Canadaair 515 CL in a framework agreement between the European Union and the Member States, with the Canadian Government and the company which now manufactures them,” said . With the aforementioned reference to Canadaairs, the Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Vasilis Kikilias, opened his speech to the Standing Committee on the Production of the House on the Draft Law “Approval of a Contract Plan for the supply of DHC-515 aircraft”. This is 7 Canadair CL-515: Five medium-type amphibian firefighting aircraft with a water capacity of around 6 tonnes, to be paid through NSRF and European programmes of the following period. Another 2 similar aircraft that Greece will purchase through the RescEU program. This programme provides for the purchase of a total of 12 Canadaairs (per 2) in 6 Member States (Greece, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Croatia). As the Minister pointed out, in the midst of the climate crisis and with very important all issues relating to the protection of human life, the property of citizens, but also the natural beauty of the country and ecology, this agreement on the supply of aircraft is crucial. “You know very well that for very many years, especially in the years of the budgetary policies and economic crisis in the country, equipment supplies, either in the Armed Forces, in the Security Corps and therefore in the Civil Protection and Fire Corps were very difficult and were limited to those necessary instruments that were needed to protect our country, as this is a matter of internal security. As you know Canadair 215 and 415 are the main means by which we fight our battles. Battles we fought last year and we will also give this year to extinguish forest fires,” the Minister said. He added that the 7 Canadaair supply is a huge program, whose deliveries are already agreed with the other side, while the guarantees of the entire program are given by the Canadian Government itself for the construction company. Traditions are as follows: Two aircraft will be delivered in 2027, one aircraft in 2028, one aircraft in 2029 and three aircraft in 2030. This procurement will also concern the original spare stock of the seven aircraft and the corresponding support equipment. Moreover, as Mr Kikilias pointed out, in addition to the above orders, Greece is in negotiations with the manufacturer in order to undertake a cost programme of 43 million euros to upgrade the Canadianair aircraft that we have in our country. This concerns one of the actions of the AGIS Programme and is implemented through the TAPED. He noted that in the next few days, the Prime Minister of the country, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, will make an official visit to Canada and will have the opportunity to sign the ritual of this agreement. And he stressed: “Canadair’s commission is a trust fund for the Fire Corps, for our fellow citizens, for the country and for future generations, and comes to be added to a very ambitious, very large and important programme, the EGIS programme worth 2.1 billion euros. For which I am pleased to announce to you that on the basis of the timetables that we have set and the way in which we proceed by the end of March- early April it will have been auctioned as a whole” the Minister stressed, explaining that since the anti-pyric period of 2025, the equipment supplies of AEGIS will start coming to the country. “We talk about medium-type helicopters, amphibian aircraft, air surveillance aircraft, drones, sensors, laser-infrared cameras and infrared. For over 1000 fire trucks, because the needs of the Fire Corps and some of the fire vehicles we have are now four decades behind. For all new technologies, in order for artificial intelligence to be able to make prognosis-prognosis and risk assessment. So we will have further upgrade and support of the England and 112 in the Warroom of Civil Protection, programs of education, awareness, digitization. It is a program which is first invested in the whole organized and structured in the Civil Protection, Fire Corps and our Ministry.”

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