Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations has placed an order with the Beta-Air consortium for seven Beriev Be-200 jet amphibians.The aircraft will be built at the APKSukhoi Irkutsk plant. Along with Irkutsk and Beriev, the Beta-Air consortium also includes Swiss financier ILTA Trade.

The order is a further success for the Irkutsk factory, which recently saw plant manager Alexei Fedorov appointed as general director of APK Sukhoi in preference to Mikhail Simonov, Sukhoi's general designer. He was made chief executive of the new concern by a decree signed by Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin on 30 December, 1996. Federov played a key role in securing the sale of more than 40 Su-30MKIs to India. The aircraft is being built at Irkutsk.

APK Sukhoi brings together the Sukhoi design bureau and the Irkutsk, Komsomolsk and Novosibirsk production plants. There has also been speculation that Beriev could join.

Deliveries of the Be-200 are due to begin in 1998. The first aircraft will be in a firefighting configuration, with search-and-rescue variants to follow.


Source: Flight International