KRASNOYARSK, October 27 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian Ministry for Emergencies (RME) will create an air group of amphibian planes Be-200 in Siberia for fighting forest fires, RME Head Sergei Shoigu announced on Thursday.
"We set about creating a Siberian air group of Be-200," Shoigu said. The Krasnoyarsk-based regional air group already has available two such planes. The Minister turned over one of them to the air group earlier in the day. "The air group will consist of four Be-200 planes, two of which will be supplied within the next two years," he pointed out.
The Be-200 will be used to put out forest fires throughout the Krasnoyarsk Territory and in neighbouring regions, and to ensure safety in water areas.
"This is the world's best plane (for putting out fires-- Note by Itar-Tass) and it excels all foreign analogues," Shoigu pointed out. "Within eleven seconds it draws 12 tonnes of water during hydroplaning; it is provided with guidance systems and can be used for the transportation of cargoes," he said.
Besides, the Minister handed over a BK-117 helicopter to the Siberian air group on Thursday. "The helicopter will be used to to assist road accident victims and perform emergency-medicine functions and serve as an ambulance air vehicle," Shoigu pointed out. He said the helicopter is fitted out with all the necessary equipment for the transportation of accident victims.