Safran Aircraft Engines of France and UEC Saturn of Russia have signed a framework agreement concerning a re-engined version of the Be-200 using a new version of the SaM146.
On the sidelines of the meeting between the French and Russian presidents, Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Safran Aircraft Engines of France and UEC Saturn of Russia have signed a framework agreement concerning a re-engined version of the Beriev Be-200 fire-fighting aircraft using a new version of the SaM146 engine.
The SaM146 turbofan engine was developed and is produced by the two aero-engine manufacturers through their 50/50 joint company, PowerJet. The Be-200 is currently powered by Ivchenko-Progress D-436 engines.
The Beriev Be-200 is a multirole fire-fighting aircraft, with mission capabilities including maritime surveillance, wildfire-fighting, passenger transport and humanitarian relief. The Be-200 is the first aircraft of this type to be fitted with two jet engines located over the wings to reduce the risks of water projection.
The change of powerplant prompted speculation that the re-engined aircraft could be a candidate to meet a long-standing French requirement for a new fire-fighting aircraft. The original Be-200 was tested by the French authorities several years ago but was not selected. The French fleet currently comprises CL-145s, Trackers and Dash 8Q400s. France signed for six new Dash8Q400s in January.
PowerJet was created in 2004 to develop and produce the SaM146 propulsion system for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional jet. The engine entered revenue service in 2011 and has since logged more than 875,000 flight-hours for about 15 operators worldwide, with dispatch reliability exceeding 99.9%.