Naval Air: Russian Amphibian Flies Again


September12, 2008:  The Russian Navy has come up with the money to revive development of their Be-42 amphibious (can take off from land or water) reconnaissance aircraft. This was a late Cold War project, what was suspended in the early 1990s because of lack of money. The Russian navy has ordered four of the Be-42s, with the first to be delivered in two years, and all four of them in five years. If the Be-42s perform well, several dozen will be ordered to perform coastal patrol duties.

The 86 ton amphibian uses two jet engines (for cruising), as well as two smaller jet engines to help get off the water. The aircraft can fly up to 4,100 kilometers, at a max speed of 800 kilometers an hour. The crew of eight has a number of electronic sensors, as well as the ability to carry 6.5 tons of weapons (mines, depth charges, torpedoes, sonobuoys, anti-ship missiles, etc). The four currently on order will be used mainly for search and rescue, meaning few, if any, weapons will be carried.


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