Two Russian-made Be-200 air tankers deployed to Indonesia

BE-200
BE-200. Credit: Beriev.

Two Russian-made Be-200 amphibious air tankers have arrived in Indonesia to assist with the siege of wildfires plaguing the country and causing severe air quality problems.

According to Sputnik News the two air tankers will be in the country for at least 30 days.

After also being deployed to Indosia, Coulson’s Tanker 132, (an L-382G civilian version of Lockheed’s C-130) has returned to New South Wales to continue their firefighting contract.

The twin jet powered Be-200 can scoop up to 3,300 gallons of water and cruise at 348 mph at 26,000 feet. It has a ferry range of 2,051 miles with a one-hour reserve.

Over the last several years there has been talk of leasing or buying the Be-200 to be used in the United States, and even assembling them in Colorado, but so far it has just been that — talk. A major hurdle would be obtaining certifications from the FAA.

Be-200
Be-200. Credit: Beriev.

Articles on Fire Aviation tagged Be-200.
Articles on Wildfire Today tagged Be-200.

2 thoughts on “Two Russian-made Be-200 air tankers deployed to Indonesia”

  1. The multirole Beriev Be-200 is an amphibious water drop fire-fighting aircraft, a freighter, or as a passenger aircraft—the pressurized and air conditioned cabin allowing transportation of up to 72 passengers, built in Russia. Sounds marketable, but it hasn’t been too successful internationally.
    The aircraft has 8 aluminum alloy water tanks located under the cabin floor with 4 retractable water scoops, two forward and two aft of the fuselage step can be used to scoop a total of 12 tons of water in 14 seconds for a total of about 3,000 gallons.
    First being displayed at the Paris airshow in 1990 and there have only been 9 built, with no customers other than Russia and one of its satellite countries named Azerbaijan, located on the west side of the Black Sea who purchased one of the nine aircraft. Operational the aircraft has flown on fires in; Portugal / Israel / Indonesia / Greece / Italy and of course Russia.
    The aircraft is currently being built at a very low rate at a Russian facility in Serbia. The Be-200 is powered by two pylon-mounted D-436TP engines. The D-436TP is a specific “maritime” corrosion-resistant version of the three shaft turbofan, designed especially for the Be-200 amphibian and are manufactured in Ukraine. Because of reliability with Russian designed engines, the aircraft was offered to Western customers with Rolls Royce BR315 engines, but there has been no interest other than dreamers.
    The concept of assembling them in the US would not be cost effective, with the basic aircraft cost of over 40 million each without the added cost of the facilities to put them together where ever that would be. Also, not sure how many months or years it would take to obtain an FAA certification to fly the aircraft in the US. Another factor is that recently Bombardier has basically stopped production of the CL415 because of the lack of customers and has no current orders for the aircraft. Nice idea, just not practical and the fire is already OUT!

  2. Agreed on the problem with Russian engines. The issue is not just reliability, but design philosophy. They tend to make things easier to work on in the field, but at the cost of longevity. A friend who has spent time in Afghanistan working around Russian equipment-mainly MiL-8 helos, said:” A precision tool kit on the MiL was a ball peen hammer, a cutting torch and a crowbar.” He actually liked the MiL, but there is a good reason the FAA has a problem ….

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