KME Delivers Ultra-High Pressure Airfield Fire Apparatus

KME ARFF Vehicles

Nesquehoning, PA—KME recently delivered a variety of airfield fire apparatus to the United States Air Force (USAF) that include ultra-high pressure (UHP) firefighting pumping systems.

The USAF contract’s models include 144 rapid intervention vehicles, five 4×4 Class 4 aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) apparatus and 21 6×6 Class 5 ARFF apparatus with rear steer capability.

The rapid intervention vehicles, mounted on a Ford Super Duty chassis, include 400 gallons of water, 15 gallons of Class A Foam, and 56 gallons of Class B foam. The UHP system operates at 90 gpm at 1,200 psi using a 60-gpm bumper turret and two 15-gpm UHP handlines.

The ARFF vehicles include aluminum cabs and bodies, 1,500 or 3,000 gallons of water, 200 or 400 gallons of foam, and 500 pounds of dry chemical. Both units operate with a 300-gpm UHP bumper turret (water, foam, and dry chem capable), UHP handline, two 2½” low-pressure handlines, and a dry chem handline. The dual pump system operates at 320 gpm at 1,350 psi in UHP mode and 250 gpm at 150 psi in the stationary low-pressure pumping mode.

Ultra-high pressure pumping capability offers the USAF a number of benefits which may have other uses in municipal, industrial, and wildland firefighting, including:


  • UHP uses only 1/3 the water and foam as traditional pumping operations
  • Water droplets are smaller which increases surface coverage for quicker fire suppression.
  • UHP mist can also act as a cooling agent in a room.
  • Ultimately, less water and foam requirements yield a lighter GVW and lower apparatus cost.

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