Rostec State Corporation has proposed to create a specialized Be-200 squadron for extinguishing natural and man-made fires, to be used in Russia and abroad, within the framework of humanitarian projects.
This initiative was voiced within the framework of the International Exhibition and Scientific Conference on Hydroaviation by the General Director of the State Corporation Rostec Sergey Chemezov.
The initiative will make it possible to renew the aircraft fleet of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, stimulate orders for export supplies of equipment, and satisfy requests for assistance from foreign partners. There is now a steady demand for seasonal rental of amphibious aircraft with crews that have experience in firefighting, but it is impossible to satisfy all incoming requests due to the limited number of vehicles.
“Many countries where the problem of wildfires is acute do not have such equipment, but they ask Russia to provide it on a seasonal basis. It is not always possible to help, since aircraft of this type are actively involved in work on the territory of our country. The creation of a specialized squadron will be an important international humanitarian project. At the same time, our priority remains to build up the aviation firefighting capabilities of the Russian Emergencies Ministry. We expect that in the near future, as part of the renewal of the Be-200 fleet of the Russian Emergencies Ministry, a decision will be made to order six new aircraft. This will allow starting the formation of a squadron, the basis of which will be the decommissioned ministries of the Be-200 of early years of production, ”said Chemezov.
During Hydroaviasalon, it was noted that the implementation of the initiative should be linked to legislative changes. It is necessary on a systematic basis to allow the use of aircraft of state and experimental aviation for commercial purposes for the provision of firefighting services.
This year Be-200ES was involved in extinguishing wildfires in the Republic of Turkey. Since June 16, crews have been involved in the elimination of large fires at complex and strategically important facilities and locations. The total flight time was about 500 hours. The signing of the service agreement and the dispatch of the aircraft were organized by the United Aircraft Corporation with the assistance of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, EMERCOM of Russia, and with the active support of the representative office of Rostec State Corporation in Ankara. A request for assistance in combating forest fires came from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey.
Amphibious aircraft Be-200ES have established themselves as reliable vehicles capable of effectively fighting forest fires. Specialists of the United Aircraft Corporation assume that the squadron's activities will also have a direct commercial effect, expressed in export orders for Russian aircraft. The Be-200s are produced by the Beriev Taganrog Aviation Scientific and Technical Complex of the United Aircraft Corporation.