Arista Aviation to Provide Firefighting Helicopters to Portugal

In a significant achievement for Arista Aviation, the Enterprise-based company is preparing to deliver six UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Portugal for use as firefighting units. This marks the first time that Arista, which specializes in refurbishing surplus U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, has contracted with a foreign government.

The aircraft undergo a complete refurbishment process, with customization to meet the specific requirements of the customer. Portugal, located on the Iberian Peninsula in Southern Europe, frequently experiences wildfires, making these helicopters a crucial addition to their firefighting capabilities. The Portuguese Air Force signed a contract with Arista last year, which includes the supply of material, tools, technical maintenance support until 2026, and training for pilots and mechanics.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters have the capacity to transport 12 firefighters and their equipment, and can carry up to 780 gallons of water. Steve Soler, program manager for Arista, expressed the company’s desire to assist Portugal in combating wildfires and save lives. Arista Aviation, founded in 2012 and now based at the Enterprise Municipal Airport, has become known for its world-class helicopter refurbishment services.

Arista’s expertise extends to maintaining, repairing, overhauling, and modifying various helicopter types. The company serves military, commercial, and government agencies, and its facility in Enterprise is designed to meet the growing demand for helicopter maintenance and overhaul services. Arista also offers helicopter modification and retrofitting for different industries.

Notably, Arista has upgraded the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with advanced instrumentation and accessories, enhancing their versatility for various operations. Aside from firefighting, these helicopters can be utilized for passenger and equipment transportation, police work, drug enforcement, air ambulance services, traffic/weather reporting, and high altitude observation.

The first batch of firefighting helicopters is expected to be delivered to the Portuguese government in the coming weeks, marking a significant milestone for Arista Aviation. The company continues to showcase its expertise in extending the life of aircraft and providing them with new purpose.