Erickson Air-Crane Inc.
) has entered into a new, multi-year aerial firefighting contract
worth $60 million to support National Aerial Firefighting Centre
("NAFC") operations in Australia. Per the contract, the company
in collaboration with Kestrel Aviation will provide six Aircrane
helicopters with the option for additional aircraft as required
based on fire conditions and pending aircraft availability.
The contract is for three years with two optional one-year
extensions. Specifically, per the contract, the company will
provide six S-64 Aircrane helicopters, a 2,650-gallon fire
suppression system, a detachable water tank with multiple refill
options and eight coverage levels for targeted fire suppression.
Initially, two Aircranes will be positioned in Victoria, two in
New South Wales, one in South Australia, and one in Western
To date, this is the largest Australian firefighting contract for
the company. In Aug 2013, Erickson Air-Crane and Kestrel formed a
partnership to operate the versatile heavy-lift Erickson S26
Aircranes in Australia. Erickson is a leader in high volume
aerial firebombing and is currently the largest provider of heavy
heli-tanker firefighting aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service.
The combination of Kestrel's well-equipped fleet with
Erickson's renowned Aircranes, technical expertise and global
firefighting experience will provide competent helicopter
firefighting capability in Australia. The company has been
providing fire fighting services in Australia for 16 years. The
contract reflects the company's excellent track record, high
standard of service and cost-effective solution.
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Despite the threat of sequestration and the partial U.S.
government shutdown, the company has continuously been receiving
contracts on the strength of its global aviation services.
In Sep 2013, Erickson Air Crane Inc. signed a Master Agreement
with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a unit of
United Technologies Corp.
), for manufacturing fabricated aircraft assemblies. The contract
is priced over $5.6 million. Prior to that, Erickson Air-Crane
had entered into a five-year lease contract with Los Angeles
County that has an annual value of $2.7 million. The three-year
base contract includes two optional years thereafter. Per the
contract, the company will provide Los Angeles County a provision
for aerial firefighting services, including personnel, equipment,
tools, material, maintenance and supervision required to support
Erickson Air-Crane presently has a short-term Zacks Rank #2
(Buy). Other stocks worth considering in the space are
Lockheed Martin Corp.
Northrop Grumman Corp.
). While Lockheed Martin carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),
Northrop Grumman holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).