FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Aircraft | ROW ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

Beriev Be-42 / A-40 Albatros / MERMAID

The largest amphibian plane in the world, the A-40 Albatros military maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft, first flew in 1986 and entered service in limited numbers in 1990. Designed to replace old the Beriev Be-12 and Ilyushin Il-38 in Russian Navy aviation anti-submarine service, the A-40 was developed to provide access to remote areas in the east of the Soviet Union, transporting replacement maritime crews, anti-submarine operations, and SAR work. This product of the G.M.Beriev Taganrog Aviation Scientific-Engineering Complex, was detected by US intelligence in 1988 and designated MERMAID by NATO. The A-40 aircraft was publicly revealed at the Tushino airshow in August 1989. The Be-42 is a unique aircraft, with its high-aspect ratio, slightly swept wings, slender fuselage, and booster engines faired in beneath the main engines. The unmistakable shape features a high wing with two large motors placed over the wing, a "T" tail and a probe for the in-flight refueling. Despite a lack of production orders the Beriev A-40 Albatros has accumulated a number of world-wide performance records from its first flight in 1986.

The Beriev BE-200 is a twin engine multiple amphibious aircraft derived from the much larger Beriev A-40. The Be-200 is intended for production in transport, passenger-carrying, fire-fighting, patrol and search-and-rescue versions. The aircraft's maximum take-off weight of 42 ton is half that of the A-20. The Russian Ministry of Forests has expressed interest in 10 to 50 Be-200s for fire-fighting roles, although the required finance is unlikely to be available for some time. Production is being undertaken by Beriev's associated Irkutsk factory within IAPO, which also builds the two-seat Sukhoi Su-30 series, including the MKI versions for India. Interest has also been expressed by South Korea in a version of the Be-200 for maritime patrol.


Country of Origin Russia
Builder Beriev
RoleAmphibious anti-submarine patrol aircraft
Similar Aircraft
Wing Span 135 ft 06 in ( 41.62 m )
wing area 200.0m2
Length 143 ft 10 in ( 43.80 m )
Height 36 ft 03 in ( 11.00 m )
Weight 189,595 lb ( 86,000 kg ) Max T/O
Engine 2 x Soloviev D-30KPV, 117.7 kN and
2 x Klimov RD-60K, 24.5 kN
Maximum speed 472 mph ( 760 km/h )
Cruising speed 720 km/h
Range range w/max.fuel: 5500 km
range w/max.payload: 4100 km
Service Ceiling
Armament6500kg of bombs, torpedos or mines
Crew Eight: two pilots; flight engineer; radio operator; navigator; three observers
User Countriesnone

Sources and Resources

FAS | Military | DOD 101 | Systems | Aircraft | ROW ||||
Index | Search | Join FAS

Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Tuesday, September 21, 1999 10:18:15 AM