Jakarta. Indonesia welcomed on Tuesday the arrival of an American-made Chinook CH-47D helicopter to support disaster mitigation operations and the country’s handling of continuing Covid-19 outbreak.
The tandem-rotor helicopter is leased from Billings Flying Service in Montana, the United States, to be operated by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency, or BNPB.
The agency said the heavy-duty helicopter will carry out missions to put out forest fires and transport humanitarian supplies and rescue operations when needed.
As coronavirus is raging on in the archipelago, the helicopter will carry out special missions to help expand diagnostic tests in remote islands and deliver medical supplies, BNPB senior staff Egy Massadiah said in a statement.
The Chinook, already painted with the agency’s logo, is big enough to transport an ambulance and a laboratory vehicle to remote islands, he said.
It has a capacity of 10,000 liters of water for more effective fire-fighting operations in six provinces where forest fires are rampant.
"It can drop 3,000 liters of water in one shot," Egy said.
The BNPB also rents a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter for similar missions, adding to its fleet that already have Russian-made Kamov and Mi-8 helicopters.