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Turkey may purchase Be-200 amphibious aircraft from Russia after their lease

MOSCOW, (BM) – Turkey is considering the purchase of Russian Be-200 amphibious aircraft leased for four months to extinguish forest fires, Fizuli Mollayev, a member of the board of directors of the SMS operating company Savunma Sanayi, said in an interview with RIA Novosti, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.

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According to the press service of the United Aircraft Corporation [UAC, part of Rostec], two Be-200 Russian amphibious aircraft arrived in Turkey to help extinguish forest fires. A request for assistance in combating forest fires was received from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey. Be-200 amphibious aircraft with Russian crews will be on duty in the vicinity of Antalya, Izmir and Bodrum for four months.

“Our company won the tender announced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey for services to extinguish forest fires and concluded a contract with the UAC of Russia and the Ministry of Emergencies for the rental of two Be-200 aircraft for 4 months with their possible subsequent purchase. We will see how these planes show themselves in Turkey during the forest fire season, and the decision on their purchase will depend on this. With a favorable outcome of the probationary period, we are considering the acquisition of more aircraft in the future,” the source said.

According to him, the SMS company Savunma Sanayi worked on this topic for a long time, there were many competitive offers, including from Canadian and Japanese companies that produce amphibious aircraft. “But we were determined to work with Russian aircraft. We saw the Be-200 at the Teknofest-2019 exhibition in Istanbul, compared their potential with other aircraft. The Be-200 was created to save people, infrastructure, that is, it is a multi-purpose machine that is much better than machines of the same type from other countries,” RIA Novosti quotes Mollayev.

He added that if forest fires in Turkey continue after mid-October, the lease term for Russian aircraft will be extended until the fires are completely eliminated. “These aircraft will provide safety and fire fighting throughout Turkey. The maintenance of the aircraft is undertaken by the Turkish side. The Russian crew, Turkish experts will coordinate work with them on the flashpoints, provide their coordinates,” the source said.

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He noted that the Turkish commission highly appreciated their potential during the acceptance of aircraft. “Pilots showed the highest skill. When discharging water for a specified period of time, they exceeded the standard by 1.5 times. I hope that the pilots and equipment will show their best side in extinguishing forest fires,” added F. Mollaev.

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