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    MOSCOW, February 9, 2004 (RIA Novosti)-Russian aerospace corporation Irkut and American company Hawkins & Powers have signed a protocol about the delivery of eight amphibian Be-200 aircraft to the United States.

    "It is assumed that the aircraft will be used by the California based Hawkins & Powers, one of the leading American fire fighting companies, to fight forest fires on the United States West Coast," Helen Fedorova, the head Irkut's press service, told RIA Novosti.

    According to her, deliveries of the Be-200 airplanes equipped with BR715 Rolls Royce engines to the United States will begin in 2007.

    "According to the results of market research conducted by Irkut and the American company, potential demand for the Be-200 airplanes over the next 20 years in 25 sates of the world is 320 airplanes," said Ms. Fedorov.

    "The first Be-200 aircraft was delivered to the Ministry of Emergency and Disaster Relief in June 2003. It is planned that the second Be-200 will be put into the operation at the end of February 2004, and the entire order will be executed before the end of 2005," Ms. Fedorov noted.

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