Chinese customer confirms order for Beriev amphibian airplanes

Beriev will deliver two Be-200 amphibians to the Chinese customer, with an option for two more Energy Leader Aircraft Manufacturing wants to buy Be-200s and launch series production of Be-103s (Beriev Aircraft Company)

China’s Energy Leader Aircraft Manufacturing has confirmed its letter of intent for the purchase of Russian Beriev Be-200 and Be-103 amphibian aircraft into a commitment, the airliners’ desgner, Taganrog-based Beriev Aircraft Company, says in a statement.

Under the contract, Beriev will deliver two Be-200s, with an option for two more. The deal also covers the launching of a Be-103 assembly line in China, as well as setting up a maintenance station and a flight crew and technical staff training center for the type in that country.

The letter of intent was signed at Airshow China 2016 in Zhuhai, with Be-200 deliveries set to begin in 2018. The parties also agreed to jointly promote and market the Be-103 in Asia-Pacific.

Speaking of the latter type, an industry source told Russian Aviation Insider that Chinese Be-103 assembly will eventually become fully localized, meaning that the aircraft’s components will also be produced locally.

Under the contract, prior to the launch of series production in China the aircraft is to be upgraded. There are however no further details. The Chinee production agreement for the Be-103 was signed at the Gelendzhik airshow in Russia last year.

Beriev’s parent company United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) believes the Be-200 has a “high export potential.” Letters of intent were signed last year with customers from Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Operators in Europe and the US have also “demonstrated certain interest” in the aircraft, the UAC reports.

The Be-200 is an amphibian aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 37,200 kg, designed primarily for firefighting missions. The Be-103 is a light twin-engined seaplane.

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