"The Navy's command has decided that it's necessary to purchase an anti-submarine configuration of the Be-200 amphibious aircraft by 2020 to search for, detect and destroy [enemy] submarines," the official said.
He recalled that Russia's naval aviation fleet currently includes obsolete 1960’s-era Beriev Be-12 turboprop-powered amphibious aircraft, the service life of which is already expiring. The plane was taken out of production a long time ago.
Russia’s naval aviation fleet comprises carrier-based, anti-submarine, military-transport and assault aircraft.
Designed for firefighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, and cargo as well as passenger transportation, the Be-200 can carry 12 metric tons of water, or up to 72 passengers.
The plane, which made its maiden flight in September 1998, is manufactured by the Beriev Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex in Taganrog and is capable of landing both on water and on regular airfield runways. In May 2013, it was reported that the Russian Defense Ministry plans to buy six such amphibians.
As for the Be-12, the Soviet Navy originally had plans to replace its fleet of these planes with the Beriev A-40 Albatros, designed by the Beriev Aircraft Company for anti-submarine warfare. However, the project was suspended after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was later revived and an order has been placed by the Russian Navy.