It an carry up to 49 tons of water
Responding to the request of the Greek government, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the increase of the Russian team, which is fighting the fires in Greece, the Kremlin press service announced.
“Due to the extraordinary request of the Greek government, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the increase of the Russian team, which acts in extinguishing fires in the central regions of the Hellenic Republic,” the relevant statement reads.
Earlier, it was reported that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a telephone conversation with Russian Prime Minister Μikhail Μishustin, as well as Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, to whom the request for a second Beriev-200 amphibious firefighting aircraft was communicated.
However, Russia will instead send two Ilyushin Il-76s and two Mil Mi-8 helicopters. Russia still uses, though not very often, the huge Ilyushin Il-76 of 100 tons of empty weight.
This large transporter airplane uses the VAP-2 kit which in about 2 hours can be adapted to the cargo space, in essence a large cylindrical tank, which has 2 dispenser systems at the back. The VAP-2 can carry up to 49 tons of water, when the Beriev carries 12 tons.
The most recent use of the aircraft was a few days ago, in a fire in the national park of Mordovia, a federal state of Russia, east of Moscow.
The two Mil-Mi-8s will be flown to Greece in an Antonov An-124 Ruslan.