Russia orders eight Be-200 amphibious jet air tankers

BE-200 air tanker at Santa Maria, California
BE-200 air tanker at Santa Maria, California in April, 2010. Photo courtesy of Michael Lynn.

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.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

5 thoughts on “Russia orders eight Be-200 amphibious jet air tankers”

  1. Google
    “44000 pounds to kilograms”

    “44 000 pounds = 19 958.0643 kilograms”

    and since for water 1 kilogram = 1 litter

    44000 pounds are 20000 liters

    OR maybe litter with 2 “t” has a different meaning

    A bird in a Jet turbine is one of the most common airplane accidents. Those planes are mostly flying low to make a drop. How do they avoid birds?

  2. Seems someone confused liter (litre) with litters.. LOL.

    I got “corrected” earlier on my spelling of ‘fire behavior’ vs. ‘fire behaviour’ on another site. I should have known better… I still spell theater as theatre from my early education ‘abroad’.

    Bill, this simply shows that you have an international following of folks interested in wildland fire and willing to communicate.

    Damn good reporting of the recent information in the wildfire world.

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