Royal Air Force helicopters are helping tackle huge fires in Cyprus.

84 Squadron from RAF Akrotiri continue to work with the Republic of Cyprus in efforts to tackle wildfires in the Limassol District, say the RAF.

“Two RAF Griffin helicopters joined the local authorities to fight the fires from the air and offering refuelling to other aircraft involved in the fire-fighting efforts.”

84 Squadron has been stationed overseas since 1920 and is at present a Search and Rescue Squadron using the Bell Griffin HAR.2 helicopter.

FILE PHOTO: Griffin HAR2

It is currently one of the two operational parts of the RAF Search and Rescue Force left in service after the stand-down of the UK effort in October 2015.

According to the RAF website, the Griffin HAR2 is equipped with night-vision goggles and a FLIR/ TV turret, which affords its crews a relevant night capability.

“Owing to the hot, arid climate of its Cyprus base, the HAR2 regularly employs its crucial fire fighting capability across the region.  Other capabilities include search and rescue.”

You can read more about the aircraft here.

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Nic
Nic
6 days ago

These tasks and capabilities will have to be factored in when the MOD choose the replacement for Griffin and Puma.

Challenger
Challenger
6 days ago
Reply to  Nic

It’s good that the Griffin’s used in Cyprus and Brunei (are their some still based at the training grounds in Canada and Kenya too?) will be factored into the new medium helicopter purchase.

Alongside this I believe there is a project to replace the AAC’s Gazelle’s with some Airbus H145’s.

The lack of information about replacing all of these smaller/older fleets led a lot of people to assume they either wouldn’t be replaced at all or some private contractor would fulfill the role as happened with the UK’s SAR coverage.

Daniel
Daniel
6 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

My understanding was that it’s just Gazelle’s in use at BATUS now, perhaps somebody more qualified could say otherwise? I don’t know about Kenya though.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 minutes ago
Reply to  Daniel

I’ve only ever known of Gazelle with 29 Flt at BATUS.

Not aware of any AAC flight or assets at BATUK.

AlexS
AlexS
5 days ago

Griffin and Blackhawk lost to AW139 in US Air Force contract to protect their ICBM’s.

John Hartley
John Hartley
5 days ago

Do we have bambi buckets for RAF Chinooks?

Nic
Nic
5 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I don’t think we have any aerial fire fighting capability, if we have I don’t think it has been used.