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.