Russia has launched a series of development activities in aerial fire control technology. A brief introduction to the ongoing activities in airtanker construction is given below. The performance data are summarized together with the Ukrainian planes (Tab.1).
Antonov AN-2 P
The single-engine land airplane AN-2 is well known among fire fighters. It is one of the planes used for smokejumping operations all over the CIS. The AN-2 P is a STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) plane (“P” version is derived from “Pozharnik”, which means Fire Fighter). Its conversion to a water bomber was specifically designed to control wildfires in the regions contaminated by radionuclides. The extinguishant load is 1,200 l. Two of these planes are in use, two modified models are being built at present.
The AN-26 is a transport plane widely used in the civilian and military sector and in fire control operations (long distance transport of firefighters, aerial observation, rain seeding, smokejumping). One of the recent developments is the construction of external tanks for extinguishants: Two tanks, each of which with a capacity of 2 tons, can be attached to the plane and used for initial attack once a fire has been spotted. The tanks can be removed from the plane within a short space of time.
Berijev Be-12 P
The Berijev B-12 is a military amphibious airplane. Two of these planes have been converted to a firefighting version (BE-12 P). The plane is a scooping plane and carries up to 6 t of water. In 1993 a total of 200 experimental drops were made to test the performance of the plane (Fig.1).
Berijev Be-200 P
The Be-200 is a multipurpose amphibious aircraft of which configurations are available for fire fighting, passenger, and cargo transport. The two D-436 turbofan engines are top-mounted and allow the scooping of water for aerial delivery over forest fires at wave heights of up to 1.2 m. In addition to the capacity of 12 tons of water (or retardants) a 1.2-m3 tank for liquid chemical is installed on the aircraft.
Contact Address for more information:
Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association Chief Engineer Alexei Fyodorov RU – 664020 Irkutsk
Tab.1. Performance data of fire fighting aircraft produced in the Russian Federation (AN-2 P, AN-26 P, Be-12 P, Be-200, IL-76TD) and Ukraine (AN-32 P).
Maximum takeoff weight (kg)
43,000 (on water)
Fire retardant weight (kg)
Cruising speed (km/h)
Minimum speed for retardant dropping (km/h)
Take-off distance (m)
900 (land) 1000(water)
Maximum flight range (km)
7,000 (empty) 3,000 (w/water)
Number of smokejumpers fully equipped
Fig.1. The Berijev BE-12 P amphibious water bomber
From:Eduard P. DavidenkoandJohann G. Goldammer (Editor of IFFN) Address: National Aerial Forest Fire Center Avialesookhrana Gorkogo St. 20 RU – 141200 Pushkino, Moscow Region