Russian Navy upgrades Be-12 aircraft

The Russian Navy is upgrading antisubmarine Be-12 aircraft, the Izvestia daily writes.

Russian Navy upgrades Be 12 aircraft A Beriev Be-12PS "Chayka" during take-off roll (Picture source: Dmitry Terekhov)

The upgraded Be-12 will detect and track for a long time the latest submarines, including nuclear ones. The first upgraded aircraft had their onboard equipment replaced and received a new acoustic complex and sensors, as well as magnetic anomaly detector and upgraded depth bombs and torpedoes.

Be-12 is the oldest aircraft of the Russian Navy. It made the maiden flight in 1960 and its production ended in 1973. The aircraft was designed as an antisubmarine amphibious vehicle for the search and destruction of adversary U-boats.

The Navy operated Be-12 both in the southern and northern seas and it performed as a simple and reliable aircraft. The crew comprises four men - the commander, assistant, navigator and radio operator. The aircraft is distinguished by a V-shaped wing which resembles a seagull in flight.

The flying boat develops a speed over 550 km/h, but prefers to fly 320 km/h during patrolling missions. It can loiter for over three hours in the patrol zone at a distance of 600 km. The payload is 1.5 to 3 tons.

There are over a dozen Be-12 configurations of armaments which vary depending on the situation. The aircraft carries detection and destruction means both inside the fuselage and on suspension. Be-12 is armed with detection buoys and antisubmarine PLAB-250-120 and PLAB-500 bombs which are released from an altitude of 50 meters to 8 kilometers. The main weapons are homing AT-1 and AT-1M torpedoes capable of finding a target at a distance of 1.5 km from the splash site.

Be-12 was used to create Be-12PS rescue aircraft. Its cargo compartment has seats for the wounded, sanitary and medical equipment. A medical worker joins the crew and there is an inflatable motor boat to rescue people from water. Be-12PS can carry 15-29 injured.

The aircraft has set close to 50 world records in speed, takeoff pace, and payload weight airlifted to a specific altitude and range, the Izvestia said.

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