Civil aircraft
Superjet 100
Military aircraft
Transport aircraft
Strategic and special purpose aircraft


Development: Beriev Aircraft Company
Maiden flight: 1998

The baseline design of Be-200 amphibious aircraft is intended for aerial wildfire-fighting using water or fire-extinguishing liquids. This includes the following objectives:

Stopping the spread, and containment, of moderate and large forest fires by creating a barrier with multiple drops of an extinguishing fluid at the edge of the fire;

The elimination of small and newly-started forest fires; the delivery of firefighting teams and equipment to disaster areas with landing on a preselected water surface or airfield, and subsequent extraction.

Additionally, the airplane can perform:

  • passenger transportation;
  • search-and-rescue work;
  • environmental monitoring;
  • patrolling of exclusive economic zones and sea boundaries.

The Be-200 can be reequipped into the following versions quickly and with minimum cost:

  • transport airplane;
  • passenger airplane (Be-210);
  • search-and-rescue airplane;
  • medical evacuation airplane.

All firefighting capabilities are retained. Work on a business-version design are underway.
The Be-200 can operate from Class B airfields with a runway length of 1,800 m and from a water surface at least 2,300 m long with a water body depth of at least 2.5 m. The airplane can take off and land on water with a wave height of up to 1.3 m, and special anti-corrosion treatments enable operation of this airplane in maritime conditions.

In areas with underdeveloped ground infrastructure, the Be-200 may be deployed on a 130 x 70 m paved area equipped with a slipway. The Be-200’s detailed design was completed with consideration of FAR-25 airworthiness standards (USA), which will facilitate certification of the airplane in accordance with FAA and JAA standards.

The Be-200ES-E is fitted to the requirements of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, and is intended for the following main applications:

  • Fire suppression;
  • Delivery of search-and-rescue teams, required equipment and essential goods to disaster areas, with landing at the nearest airfield or water body;
  • Evacuation of survivors from disaster zones, search and location of ships and vessels suffering distress;
  • Finding the precise coordinates of disaster spots;
  • Classification of the detected objects, both visually and with the use of on-board equipment;
  • Carriage of fire teams and goods.

There is currently no maintenance interval set for the airplane and it is maintained as condition requires. Its assigned service life is 30 years.

The Be-200 can hold up to 12 tons of water. The airplane can be filled with water at an airfield using a hydrant system, or it can scoop water while skimming the water surface and fill its tanks in 14 seconds. The airplane is fitted with tanks for chemical liquids with a total capacity of 1.2 m3.  Water can be dropped in a single salvo, or in consecutive drops by opening the water tank doors in sequence.

Thanks to its high speed, the Be-200 offers high fire-suppression capacity in terms of the number of water drops per hour. With an airfield-fire distance of 100 km and airfield-water body distance of 10 km, the airplane can drop up to 270 tons of water on the fire. The high rate of climb is a significant advantage when it comes to fire suppression in a narrow space, for example, in mountainous areas, or when scooping/dropping water in areas with obstacles present.

The development of amphibious design was initiated in 1990 under the design leadership of Alexander Yavkin, Chief Designer of the G. Beriev Taganrog Design Bureau, based on the A-40 Albatros amphibian from which the Be-200 differs with its smaller dimensions. The airplane was first demonstrated at the Paris Air Show in 1991.

The Be-200 lifted off for the first time at the airfield of Irkutsk Aviation Production Association on September 24, 1998. The first take-off from water took place in Taganrog on September 10, 1999.
In August 2001, the airplane was certified in accordance with AP-25 airworthiness requirements. Production of Be-200 amphibians was launched at Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association (presently – PJSC Irkut Corporation) that same year.

Its noise certificate No. SSh 118-Be-200 was received on December 27, 2000; Limited Category Type No. STOK 201-Be-200 was received on August 10, 2001.

The first customer for the Be-200 was the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM). EMERCOM signed a framework agreement in 1996 for the delivery of Be-200 airplanes for the EMERCOM fleet. The agreement for the purchase of 7 Be-200 amphibians signed by EMERCOM in 1997 was transformed into a Governmental Procurement Contract with a total value of RUB 5 billion in 2001. The contract not only provided for the purchase of airplanes, but also contemplated initial steps to set up infrastructure: establishment of training centers, provision of ground servicing equipment, establishment of maintenance bases, setting up an amphibian base in Gelendzhik or Taganrog, etc. There were also plans that the corresponding research institutes would be tasked with the examination of water bodies as potential bases for the deployment of Be-200s.

The Be-200 multi-purpose amphibious aircraft was demonstrated for the first time at the 4th international exhibition of ship-born and sea aircraft Gidroaviasalon 2002, held in Gelendzhik on September 4-8, 2002. Russia's new amphibian set 9 world records there.

The Be-200 was demonstrated in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Malaysia, China, India, and the United Arab Emirates. It was engaged in wildfire suppression missions in Russia, Italy, Portugal, and Indonesia. One of the best examples of the successful operation of the Be-200ES was in Italy in 2004-2005 within the framework of an agreement between the BERIEV Aircraft Company and SOREM, the operator of firefighting equipment officially designated by the Department of Civil Defense of Italy (Protezione Civile). An agreement for the lease of Be-200ES was made by the BERIEV Aircraft Company and National Fire and Civil Defense Service of Portugal in 2006. Under the agreement, the Be-200ES amphibian would be used in wildfire suppression missions in mainland Portugal. It was piloted by French, American, and Italian pilots, and all of them highly praised its performance and capabilities.

The joint venture CJSC BETA IR was set up in August 2005 for the implementation of a program for the Be-200 amphibian’s promotion on the global market, which joined European concern EADS, Irkut Corporation, BERIEV Aircraft Company and Swiss company ILTA Trade Finance SA. The marketing of the Be-200 in Asia and Pacific was implemented jointly with Malaysian company DRB-HICOM Defenсe Technologies SDN BHD.

A Be-200ES fitted to the needs of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry was developed based on the Be-200. Apart from fire suppression, the equipment carried by Be-200ES allows it to pursue a wide range of missions, including the detection of disaster spots, and search-and-rescue operations on water and in coastal areas.

The first production of the Be-200ES amphibian operated a flight from an airfield near Irkutsk on June 17, 2003; since then, it has remained in service as part of EMERCOM fleet. Four produced airplanes have already been delivered to the customer. In addition to the Be-200ES, cargo/passenger and patrol versions are envisioned.

In 2003, the Be-200ES version received: Type Certificate for Noise Level No. SSh136-Be-200ES, Type Certificate of Limited Category Aircraft No. STOK220-Be-200ES, Type Certificate No. ST229-Be-200ES, as well as Supplement to Type Certificate No. STOK 220-Be-200ES/DO1, enabling the airplane to fly in international airways.

The Be-200ES successfully passed certification tests for ambient operating temperature range (-36 degrees C, -42 degrees C, -47 degrees С and -52 degrees С), which were conducted from January 30 to February 19, 2004. The target time required to make the airplane ready to fly was determined for each test temperature.
In 2007, the management of Irkut Corporation made the decision to transfer production of the Be-200 from the Irkutsk Aviation Plant (IAZ) to the aircraft production site in Taganrog (JSC Taganrog Aviation – Tavia), taking effect from 2008. 

Russia now has six Be-200 airplanes in total (four have been handed over to EMERCOM, with two test airplanes owned by BERIEV Aircraft Company).

A supplement to Type Certificate No. ST229-Be-200ES/D-02 approving the passenger version was issued on January 31, 2007.

A supplement to Type Certificate No. ST229-Be-200ES/D03 for the Be-200ES-E version equipped with an "English cockpit" was issued on May 25, 2010.

A European Type Certificate EASA.IM.A.114 for the Be-200ES-E airplane was issued on September 7, 2010.

One Be-200ES was delivered to a customer in Azerbaijan in 2008.

In 2010, the BERIEV Aircraft Company and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation signed an agreement for the delivery of new Be-200ES airplanes.

The Be-200 marks a brand new step in the production of amphibious aircraft. The plane has no rivals in Russia and, most probably, once it has been certified internationally and customized to the customer’s specifications, the Be-200 will face little or no competition in the world.


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