Shortly after the European Aviation Safety Agency issued an approval and Type Certificate for the Be-200 amphibious aircraft to the Beriev Aircraft Company on September 9, the Russian Emergencies Ministry signed a $330 million contract to purchase eight of the aircraft configured for wildland firefighting. This made good on a promise Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made during their August fire siege to acquire more air tankers, including the Be-200. Medvedev went along as a “co-pilot” on a Be-200 last month and pushed the button to make a drop on one of the fires burning in Russia.
In April a Be-200 visited Santa Maria, California in an effort to sell a few of the air tankers in the United States. At about $41 million each, how many would you like to order?
Here is a video of a demonstration of the Be-200.
The Beriev Aircraft Company was founded in 1934 and has built dozens of models of aircraft, including the Mil Mi-26 helicopter, the largest and most powerful helicopter ever to have gone into production. It can carry 44,000 pounds, equivalent to about 80 troops or 60 litters.