MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Defense Ministry has signed a contract with the Beriev Aircraft Company for the purchase of six Beriev Be-200 amphibious planes, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on Friday.
“The contract is worth 8.4 billion rubles [$268 million],” UAC said in a statement.
“The first two planes will be basic Be-200ChS models, while the following four will be the Be-200PS version without firefighting equipment,” the statement said.
It is the first purchase of Be-200 planes by the Russian military.
The Defense Ministry may order eight more planes in the future, according to UAC.
Be-200 is the world's largest multipurpose amphibious aircraft, designed for firefighting, search and rescue, maritime patrol, cargo and passenger transportation.
The plane can carry 12 tons of water or 7.5 tons of cargo, or up to 72 passengers.
At least five Be-200ChS firefighting planes are currently in service with the Russian Emergencies Ministry.