First modernized Be-200 amphibious air tankers rolled out


Above: A Be-200ES rolls out for the public while another makes a demonstration water drop.

On Monday, May 30 the Beriev Aircraft Company rolled out the first Be-200ES firefighting aircraft produced at their Taganrog manufacturing facility. The versions introduced to the public yesterday have been “modernized”, according to the information from the company, with a reinforced airframe and upgraded avionics.

They expect to flight test and deliver two aircraft this year from the Taganrog factory, and by 2017 hope to produce four annually for the next five years. Orders have been placed by Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations for six Be-200ES aircraft to serve as air tankers, while the Russian Ministry of Defense ordered one Be-200ES capable of fighting fires and another four of the Be-200PS version that would serve other purposes.

Beriev has been manufacturing the Be-200 since 2003. The aircraft can land or take off on water or land, and the firefighting version can scoop water to refill its tanks. It can be converted to haul passengers or serve as a search and rescue aircraft, landing on water to retrieve victims if necessary.


  • Engines: two high-mounted turbo jet, D-436DTP
  • Max cruise speed: 700 km/h, 435 mph
  • Economic cruise speed: 560 km/h, 349 mph
  • Operational altitude: 8,000 m, 26,000 feet
  • Water tanks, maximum capacity: 12,000 liters, 3,170 gallons
  • Minimum speed while dropping: 200-250 km/h, 124-155 mph
  • Minimum drop height: 50 meters, 164 feet
  • Maximum wave height while scooping water: 1.2 m, 4 feet

Be-200ES Be-200ES

Be-200ES Be-200ES

All photos by Fotografersha.

4 thoughts on “First modernized Be-200 amphibious air tankers rolled out”

  1. I think the idea certainly has merit, and it’s a dedicated tanker aircraft designed for drop and dispensing operations, but the cost has got to be a major barrier to seeing them in service, especially when other far less expensive options are available. I’d really like to see one up close, or to fly one.

  2. Impressive machine. I’ve been around some Russian
    aircraft in my time . They may do things differently
    but they are rugged . Western avionics and engines
    will go a long way.

  3. Glad someone is actually manufacturing a new airplane for this mission. The costs are astronomical but… These airplanes can also perform other missions (maritime patrol, disaster relief..).
    In any case, congrats for a new Bird.

  4. Doug and TG

    Perhaps you can join me on the Black Sea in September at Gelendzhik.

    We have been working with Russia for some time on the Be 200 program.

    All data indicates it is the lowest cost way to get more water on a fire per hour than any other aircraft.

    The USFS under contract to us tested it in Russia to IAB a multi engine scooper standards.

    It did very, very well.

    We have asked Russia for a license to build it here.


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