Military Review

Be-200 and others. Heavy amphibious aircraft market

29

The Be-200 is discharging water. Photo of UAC


Important place in the international market aviation technicians occupy amphibious aircraft. The main part of this niche falls on light equipment, but there is also a demand for heavy amphibians with a take-off weight of more than 30-35 tons. Currently, only three countries are ready to compete for contracts for such machines - Russia, Japan and China. Two of them are already offering their aircraft to potential customers, and the third is still testing.

Russian leadership


The actual leader of the heavy amphibian market is the Russian Be-200 aircraft from TANTK im. G.M. Beriev. This machine took off for the first time in 1998 and since 2003 has been serially produced and is in operation. Several modifications have been developed with different equipment and functions. The Be-200 is capable of transporting people and cargo, participating in search and rescue operations and solving fire-fighting tasks.

The aircraft is 32 m long and has a wingspan of 32,7 m and has a maximum takeoff weight of 41 to 43 tons (from land and water). Payload - 5 tons or 43 passengers. The fuselage has 12 t tanks for extinguishing fires. It is possible to receive water in the planing mode.


First Russian Be-200 fleet at the parade on July 26, 2020 Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Since the beginning of the 200s, TANTK them. Beriev received several orders for the Be-12 from domestic and foreign organizations. The total volumes of such contracts are not too large, but they also compare favorably with other market participants. EMERCOM of Russia purchased 200 Be-2017ES; in 24, an order for XNUMX vehicles appeared. One amphibian was bought by the Ministry of Defense for use in naval aviation. A new contract for more equipment is expected.

The first foreign customer of the Be-200 was the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan - in May 2008 it received its only aircraft. In 2015, the negotiation process began on the sale of four Be-200ES to government agencies in Indonesia. In 2016, a Russian-Chinese contract for two aircraft appeared with an option for a second pair. In 2018, a contract for 4 aircraft and an option for 6 were signed for the American company Seaplane Global Air Services. At the same time, a Chilean order for 2 aircraft and an option for 5 appeared.

However, the fulfillment of existing orders is complicated by problems with the supply of engines. Ukrainian D-434TPs are now unavailable, and the use of foreign analogues is associated with certain difficulties. However, such problems are being resolved - recently the first new Be-200 went to serve in the Navy.

The cost of the Be-200 depends on various factors. So, six aircraft for the Russian Ministry of Defense under a 2013 contract (subsequently terminated by court) cost 8,4 billion rubles. - 1,4 billion per plane. The "American" contract for 10 cars at the negotiation stage was estimated at $ 3 billion, or $ 300 million each.


Seaplanes from ShinMaywa. The first two US-2 are in blue. Next to them is US-1A. Photo Wikimedia Commons

Thus, to date, less than 20 Be-200 aircraft have been built, but there are orders for several dozen - primarily from domestic agencies. Nevertheless, due to the small size of the market, even such sales make it possible to speak of world leadership.

Japanese attempts


In 2003, the Japanese company ShinMaywa Industries flew the US-2 seaplane for the first time, a deep modernization of the previous US-1, created in the sixties. The new multipurpose amphibian was intended for the naval aviation of the Self-Defense Forces and had to solve a wide range of tasks - to transport goods, participate in search and rescue operations, extinguish fires, etc. In 2007, the first US-2 was delivered to the Navy. A few years later, a permit was obtained to export such equipment.

The US-2 is a four-engine turboprop aircraft slightly larger than the Russian Be-200. The maximum take-off weight is 47-55 tons. Depending on the configuration, the aircraft can take on board up to 20 passengers or 10-12 tons of cargo. The fire-fighting modification receives tanks for 15 tons of water with the possibility of intake on planing.

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Forces have ordered 14 new aircraft. To date, only half have been commissioned, and construction continues. Already at the beginning of the last decade, the US-2 began to advance in the world market. India could become the first customer - it needed up to 18 amphibians, for which they could offer 1,65 billion US dollars (more than 90 million per aircraft). Later there was a request to organize licensed production in India. As far as we know, the negotiations are still going on - and so far they have not led to anything. For almost 10 years now, India has retained its status as a profitable, but still potential buyer.


Second production aircraft US-2. Photo by the Japanese Ministry of Defense

In 2015-16. Indonesia's interest in the US-2 was reported. Since news on this topic were not received. Apparently, the Indonesian leadership decided to purchase Russian amphibians, and the need for Japanese equipment disappeared. Thailand is another promising customer from the same region. Since 2016, negotiations have been under way, which have not yet had real results.

Due to such processes, Greece may become the first foreign customer of the US-2. After the fires of 2018, the Greek authorities were concerned with the problem of creating a fleet of firefighting aircraft, and showed interest in the Japanese amphibious. Negotiations are underway; the required number of aircraft was not named, but the price was indicated - $ 82 million per unit. It is unclear how soon the contract will appear and deliveries will begin.

Thus, there is only one firm contract for ShinMaywa US-2 aircraft, and from its own Self-Defense Forces. In the near future (for several years now) new orders are expected, now from foreign countries. Time will tell if the hopes of getting them are justified.

Chinese plans


At the end of 2017, the Chinese Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) began flight tests of the promising AG600 Jiaolong (Water Dragon) seaplane. The materials on this project have been repeatedly demonstrated at various exhibitions and attracted the attention of potential customers. Again we are talking about a heavy multipurpose amphibian capable of operating in military and civil aviation.


Experienced aircraft AG600 at the exhibition, October 2016 Photo Wikimedia Commons

The first flight of AG600 from the airfield took place on December 24, 2017. In October 2018, the first takeoffs and landings were performed. On July 26, 2020, the Water Dragon took off for the first time from the surface of the sea and then landed. Such flights bring the final of tests closer, after which construction will begin with the delivery of finished equipment to customers.

The size of the four-engine turboprop AG600 surpasses the Russian and Japanese aircraft - the wingspan is 38,8 m, the length is 37 m. The maximum take-off weight reaches 53,5 tons. The cargo-passenger cabin can accommodate 50 people or a comparable cargo. The fire-fighting option carries 12 tons of water.

The AG600 seaplane is still in flight testing and is not ready for service. However, customers are already interested in him. AVIC announces firm contracts for 17 aircraft. At the same time, the customers and the cost of equipment are not named. Also, the timing of the completion of the tests and the beginning of the series remain unknown.

Samples for a narrow niche


A very interesting situation is observed in the field of heavy multipurpose amphibious aircraft. It is believed that such equipment is of interest to various customers - in this capacity, government and commercial organizations are considered that need firefighting, search and rescue and transport aircraft that can operate from the water. Given these market needs, some aircraft manufacturers are developing such projects.


AG600 offshore, July 26, 2020 Photo by Sina.com.cn

However, as practice shows, this market niche is not too large, and one should not expect large contracts in it. It is probably for this reason that the largest aircraft manufacturers ignore heavy seaplanes. There are only three samples of this class on the market, and so far only the Be-200 can boast of large orders and a fairly large series.

The Be-200, as expected, got into the fleet of two Russian ministries, and in addition, it managed to interest five foreign countries, one of which has already received its equipment. Meanwhile, the Japanese amphibious US-2 is supplied only by its own Self-Defense Forces, and the Chinese AG600 is not yet ready to be handed over to operators.

Thus, the Russian Be-200 has taken a leading position in a rather narrow segment of the multipurpose seaplane market, is produced with limited topics and is actively operated. Two other aircraft of the same class have not yet been able to become worthy competitors for it, although great hopes are pinned on them. There are no prerequisites for changing this situation yet. Competition for contracts is outlined - but has not yet begun.
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  1. Terenin
    Terenin 28 July 2020 18: 05
    +6
    I do not care"
    Japanese attempts
    и
    Chinese plans
    , I am for"
    Russian leadership
    !
    1. Lexus
      Lexus 28 July 2020 18: 38
      +8
      , I am for"
      Russian leadership

      I only know about Soviet. Even the Be-200 is rooted in it. Your personal can only be that you start from the couch faster than the US-2. To him, which, however, is a record short distance among the seaplanes of the middle and heavy class, it takes 280 meters to take off from the water. Its run when landing on water is 330 meters.
      1. BARKAS
        BARKAS 28 July 2020 18: 49
        +6
        I only know about Soviet. Even the Be-200 is rooted in it

        As well as all planes in the world with roots from those years.
        1. Lexus
          Lexus 28 July 2020 19: 10
          +2
          I do not dispute this at all. Leadership needs to be constantly reaffirmed and reinforced. The imposition of the Be-200 of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation with a "fire option" instead of a full-fledged anti-submarine / base patrol version is not a good life, but a forced measure to maintain the production of a magnificent amphibious aircraft "afloat." This indicates an unsuccessful promotion of the "product" to the foreign market. Therefore, I will not be surprised if the Chinese, by the way, a very fresh "water dragon" over the next 5 years riveted in an amount greater than we have Be-200 in 30 years (by that time) from the moment of the first flight, and to all our former customers " shove ". What kind of leadership will THEN talk about?
          1. umah
            umah 29 July 2020 10: 45
            +2
            Thanks for the article, it was interesting. The only question is: why can the Be-200 take 5 tons of dry cargo and 12 tons of water?
            1. sg7s
              sg7s 29 July 2020 13: 37
              +2
              The question is the same - ENGINES, and not 324, but 236 t - I repeat, d-36 from 4.1. by the degree of bypass - he was a BREAKTHROUGH in the USSR, he flew on the 42nd, he passed and flew under the tightening of noise (the only one from Soviet technology) and the economics of transportation ... PD-8, (12) wait, there, everything seems to be ready , even in the COP about 2100, which pleases, 8.1., wide-chord blades of the chord ... On the be-200 and the jet we are waiting for new engines ... In general, the author of what kind of engines 324 are those three experimental pieces with the 6th. wheels knd and x with 1800 K?
      2. Terenin
        Terenin 28 July 2020 18: 55
        +5
        Quote: lexus
        Your personal can only be that you start from the couch faster,

        I am sorry that you have not earned money for your personal sofa winked , and this is a friend, you can always rely on him yes
      3. ism_ek
        ism_ek 28 July 2020 19: 15
        +7
        Quote: lexus
        Its run when landing on water is 330 meters.

        Turboprop. But it also has its drawbacks. Although, when we had fires and the Be-200 flew to us, there was a problem finding a place for it to take off and land. Two kilometers of free water surface with sufficient depth in our area is rare.
  2. svp67
    svp67 28 July 2020 18: 15
    +1
    In fact, I do not agree that these aircraft have a small sales market, there is simply not a large supply, well, until the Chinese have launched their "printer" ... Even we have a great need for these aircraft, as in military modifications, to search for submarines , rescue, transport and passenger, and in the civilian sphere, rescue, firefighters and transport and passenger
    1. Ded_Mazay
      Ded_Mazay 28 July 2020 18: 36
      +1
      The greatest need for such aircraft is precisely in the fire-fighting modification, because now it is blazing everywhere, from our taiga to the Spanish Pyrenees and the Australian bush.
      1. donavi49
        donavi49 28 July 2020 18: 52
        +8
        But the market decides. The problem with this aircraft is that it has a very narrow specialization, at the same time it is jet, at the same time expensive to maintain, while you need to keep airworthiness, give practice to take water, and so on - and this is also not cheap.

        As a result, it is cheaper for countries to invite the Ministry of Emergency Situations of different countries for money when it burns, as well as to cover losses, than to maintain such a park.

        The Americans are implementing the correct strategy here, such an aircraft can pay off only as a Hub. They will keep all the purchased Be-200s at the base station, with 1-2 aircraft in active operation, the rest in storage. On these planes they will do the necessary practice, they are in a state of steam generator. If it burns in some state, this company concludes a contract for extinguishing - it immediately sends the available forces of the SG and quickly removes the necessary squad of forces from storage (and the pilots are already rolled into the aircraft of the SG) - increasing the flight squad in the fire. When everything is extinguished - again in PG 1-2 aircraft, the rest are in storage.

        At the same time, they plan to provide extinguishing services in all US states and in other countries. Only such a business model is hoped to pay off.
        1. Ded_Mazay
          Ded_Mazay 28 July 2020 20: 06
          0
          Quote: donavi49
          As a result, it is cheaper for countries to invite the Ministry of Emergency Situations of different countries for money when it burns, as well as to cover losses, than to maintain such a park.

          And then they will cry to the electorate in the vest that no one came, because they themselves were on fire ...

          "Fire-fighting aviation" in general is a deliberately unprofitable and absolutely useless thing - exactly until it flared up. And as it flared up, it immediately became clear that compared to the potential losses and electoral costs, the cost of maintaining it is not such a big problem.

          As for the American approach, it is not correct already because they have again thrust market principles where they should not.
          1. donavi49
            donavi49 28 July 2020 21: 29
            +3
            Well, for this there are all sorts of Canadars - 5-6 tons of water, at the same time, cheap to work, much less requirements for the reservoir of the intake.


            A lot of them have been riveted, and if some kind of Portugal is on fire, then only with the EU it is possible to pull out 15-20 cars (junior 215 and senior 415/515) and still leave the PG forces in the base countries.

            By the way, 215/415 also did not take out the markets (despite lobbying from Canada and subsidies), production was stopped, and only the devastating fires of recent years and Indonesia, suddenly without palm oil, and in bucks in the form of investments and a launch order for a new version, the plane was reanimated ...

            Base aircraft will also be attracted.

    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 28 July 2020 18: 42
      11
      Quote: svp67
      Even we have a great need for these aircraft, as in military modifications, to search for submarines,

      To search for submarines, it is more optimal to make an airplane based on a regular Pax. All other things being equal, the weight return of a seaplane is always less - due to constructive measures that ensure landing on water. That is, the seaplane will have a smaller payload - and this is a minus to the radius, to the number of RSL, to armament.
      In addition, making an armament compartment in the part of the plane on which he sits on the water is an occupation for true masochists. smile
      Well, and most importantly - why would an PLO aircraft ever land on the water?
      Quote: svp67
      rescue,

      The question immediately arises with seaworthiness and the maximum height of the waves during landing. Disasters and accidents at sea are very often caused by unfavorable weather conditions. And in this case, it is better to have as an ACC aircraft an ordinary truck - a carrier of a remotely controlled or manned landing boat (collection and towing of rafts).
      1. svp67
        svp67 28 July 2020 18: 51
        -1
        Quote: Alexey RA
        To search for submarines, it is more optimal to make an airplane based on a regular Pax.

        How to say. The seaplane has the ability to land on the water and already afloat, it is easy to control the situation
        Quote: Alexey RA
        The question immediately arises with seaworthiness and the maximum height of the waves during landing.

        Yes, but airfields can be made in protected bays ... and in the Far East there are a lot of island bays, and indeed far from the benefits of civilization, but close to the river, sea or ocean coast, and in our country there is also a lake shore .. ...
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 29 July 2020 10: 06
          +2
          Quote: svp67
          How to say. The seaplane has the ability to land on the water and already afloat, it is easy to control the situation

          How to control the situation? Do you want to exchange part of the RGAB or the combat load for the OGAS?
          In addition, the main advantage of anti-submarine aviation is the ability to control large areas by deploying several groups of RGAB in the patrol zone. RGAB operate in the VHF range. This means only line of sight, and the lower the receiver, the shorter the communication range. Landing on water is a forced reduction of the reception radius and, accordingly, the submarine detection radius.
          And the last thing: landing on water is not such an easy thing. Wrong estimate of distance to the surface or excitement - that's it, send the next seaplane. There is a full-time rescue service at the hydro aerodromes, it will not be at sea.
          Quote: svp67
          Yes, but airfields can also be made in protected bays ...

          The standard design of a hydro-aerodrome according to the TZ MO should include, among other things, a conventional aerodrome with a concrete strip of length, EMNIP, 2,5 km. That is, the hydro aerodrome initially turns out to be more expensive than a conventional aerodrome due to the presence of both ground and additional "water" infrastructure.
          And without the ground infrastructure of the Air Force, the hydro aerodrome will not be accepted - because only the water part will not provide the possibility of aircraft departure 24/7/365 (excitement, icing, etc.).
      2. mmaxx
        mmaxx 29 July 2020 03: 39
        +2
        Everything is correct. There is no need for a prototype submarine aircraft to land on the water.
  3. rocket757
    rocket757 28 July 2020 18: 15
    +3
    [quote]. However, the fulfillment of existing orders is complicated by problems with the supply of engines. [quote]
    This is not a problem, this is a brake. As soon as it is, it will fly to the right place and as much as necessary.
    1. donavi49
      donavi49 28 July 2020 18: 47
      +4
      Well, the Americans will be supplied with as many engines as they need and more, but even there they skid. It can be seen not only in the engines problem.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 28 July 2020 19: 27
        +3
        Sure!!! There are no completed orders, no money, no staff salaries, there is no lack of qualified personnel, no renovation, no expansion of production, and so on, new, so on.
        A clear logical chain ... destruction or so.
      2. Stirbjorn
        Stirbjorn 28 July 2020 21: 19
        0
        Quote: donavi49
        The Americans are implementing the correct strategy here, such an aircraft can pay off only as a Hub. They will keep all the purchased Be-200s at the base station, with 1-2 aircraft in active operation, the rest in storage.

        Yes, there is some kind of muddy contract ... the customer is American, the office of "horns and hooves"
  4. tlauicol
    tlauicol 28 July 2020 18: 44
    -1
    Big fuck seaplanes have not been needed for a long time. They just twitch in vain
    1. Lexus
      Lexus 28 July 2020 19: 29
      -1
      Big fuck seaplanes have not been needed for a long time.

      For the Chinese, this is a matter of prestige, a warm-up for designers and production. I have no doubt they will find tasks for their brainchild. Patrolling the "Chinese" seas, rescue support for the fleet breaking through to the ocean. And the fires they have there are quite large-scale. For all the rest, the production of an updated version of the "old man", the middle Canadair CL-215 (415), which had been closed earlier, by the way, due to the termination of orders for it, by the new owner of the rights and technical documentation under the Viking Air CL-515 brand, is being revived. Firefighters will have enough for their eyes. Nevertheless, I am sure that there will be no continuous rush demand for it. The accumulated applications will be closed and they will be closed again.hi

      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 29 July 2020 10: 14
        +2
        Quote: lexus
        For all the rest, the production of an updated version of the "old man", the middle Canadair CL-215 (415), which had been closed earlier, by the way, due to the termination of orders for it, by the new owner of the rights and technical documentation under the Viking Air CL-515 brand, is being revived. Firefighters "for the eyes" is enough.

        Moreover, firefighters are not particularly fond of large aircraft - conventional and hydro. For two reasons.
        Firstly, the difficulty of accurate operation of large machines on rough terrain (and this is where the planes are needed - ground equipment can work in other places). Large cars have less maneuverability and in the same mountains in SMU (smoke) at low altitude may not have time to dodge relief details... That is, you will have to increase the height of the discharge, which will increase dispersion and reduce the amount of water that reaches the source of fire.
        Secondly, large vehicles need large bodies of water / swaths for water intake. As a result, it turns out that twin-engine engines discharge more water per day purely due to faster turnover.
  5. Petrol cutter
    Petrol cutter 28 July 2020 20: 21
    0
    In my provincial opinion, it would be very good not to lose competence at least in this branch of the aircraft industry. And save the "frames".
    Bo we are losing - the edge is dashing, and we are recovering - the edge is troublesome.
    Particularly annoying is the squandering of "personnel" for nothing.
    Tomorrow they will rush to build ... But there is no one to build ...
    All the businessmen ran away. Let the businessmen build it, they wave with the bankers / sledgehammers at the factory.
  6. Stirbjorn
    Stirbjorn 28 July 2020 21: 22
    0
    The first foreign customer of the Be-200 was the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan - in May 2008 it received its only aircraft. In 2015, the negotiation process began on the sale of four Be-200ES to government agencies in Indonesia. In 2016, a Russian-Chinese contract for two aircraft appeared with an option for a second pair. In 2018, a contract for 4 aircraft and an option for 6 were signed for the American company Seaplane Global Air Services. At the same time, a Chilean order for 2 aircraft and an option for 5 appeared.
    However, in reality, only Azerbaijan bought it ... in mid-2020. Draw your own conclusions.
    For the same Superjets, you can google the same foreign contracts, under a hundred ordered aircraft.
    1. Vladimir1155
      Vladimir1155 29 July 2020 00: 19
      -1
      the be 200 objectively showed the possibility of serial production, the possibility of successful operation, There was news about the modernization of military PLO versions of BE, therefore there is the possibility of producing special PLO equipment for this, ... I consider it expedient and urgently necessary to serial production of BE 200 in the PLO version, and possibly a minelayer ... and the versions of the PMO, ... the age of the Soviet PLO aviation, in the Russian Federation is already very large, but there are tasks for it, they are important. Critics of the seaplane do not take into account the possibility for it to leave the radar after splashing down, wait out to sit on the water, and simply escape in some cases, having a wide and accessible airfield in the form of an ocean, or even using a river lake regularly for basing, instead of a rather expensive concrete strip. which does not always have especially on the shores of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk ...... of course storms can prevent this, but they are not every day and a splashdown, if necessary, gu 204 .... let's just say an order of magnitude problematic and this is very mildly.
  7. Vladimir1155
    Vladimir1155 29 July 2020 00: 08
    -1
    the be 200 objectively showed the possibility of serial production, the possibility of successful operation, There was news about the modernization of military PLO versions of BE, therefore there is the possibility of producing special PLO equipment for this, ... I consider it expedient and urgently necessary to serial production of BE 200 in the PLO version, and possibly a minelayer ... and the versions of the PMO, ... the age of the Soviet PLO aviation, in the Russian Federation is already very large, but there are tasks for it, they are important.
  8. Aleks2000
    Aleks2000 29 July 2020 00: 17
    0
    I read something here about a year ago that while these heavyweights are stalled, countries are buying smaller amphbians. And what's bad, not ours.
    Who knows what more specifically about this?

    There are above in the comments, but this is about Europe ...