BALI (Indonesia) (Sputnik) — The Indonesian government will purchase four Russian amphibious Be-200 aircrafts for the country’s air force to fight forest fires, Indonesian Air Force Chief of Staff Agus Supriatna said Monday, local media reported.
"We have already included this proposal in our strategic plan, that we buy four of these aircraft. It will be sufficient," Supriatna said.
President Joko Widodo said in October that Indonesia would in 2016 acquire three aircraft capable of carrying 12 tons of water apiece and specifically designed for fighting forest fires. According to the president, the Indonesian Air Force currently possesses aircraft that can lift only two to three tons of water.
A Beriev Be-200 can take in up to 12.5 tons of water in a few seconds while traveling over the surface of the water.
In October, two Be-200 aircraft from the Russian Emergencies Ministry helped combat widespread forest fires on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo following a request by Indonesian authorities. According to the ministry, aircraft delivered over 1,700 tons of water during the operation, eliminating some 16 wildfires.