A New York Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter was testing the National Guard's Firehawk helicopter firefighting system on the Mohawk River between the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge (Twin Bridges) on I-87 and the Route 9 Crescent Bridge on Tuesday morning
The Firehawk system consists of a 1,000-gallon tank and spray apparatus that fits beneath a Blackhawk helicopter and can be filled with a pump system and hose from a river or lake in 60 seconds.
It is able to drop all or just part of its water payload. It can also be filled with other types of fire-retardant material such as foam.
The landing gear of the Blackhawk must be modified to accommodate the system. A UH-60 helicopter assigned to the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Albany International Airport was modified to support the system as New York State agencies prepare to respond to possible brush fires during the summer months at the direction of the governor. The Firehawk system can be used to supplement local and state firefighting capabilities.