Beriev Be-12

The Beriev Be-12 Chayka ("Seagull", NATO reporting name: Mail) is a Soviet turboprop-powered amphibious aircraft designed for anti-submarine and maritime patrol duties.

Beriev Be-12
Class Aircraft
Type Utility
Manufacturer Beriev
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1960
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Egypt View
Russia (USSR) 1960 View
Syria View
Ukraine View
Vietnam View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Beriev 143 View

The Beriev Be-12 was a successor to the Beriev Be-6 flying boat, whose primary roles were as an anti-submarine and maritime patrol bomber aircraft. Though tracing its origins to the Be-6, the Be-12 inherited little more than the gull wing and twin oval tailfin configuration of the older aircraft. The Be-12 had turboprop engines, which gave it an improved speed and range over the Be-6. The Be-12 also had retractable landing gear, which enabled it to land on normal land runways, as well as water.

The Be-12 was first flown on October 18, 1960 at Taganrog airfield, and made its first public appearance at the 1961 Soviet Aviation Day festivities at Tushino airfield. A total of 150 aircraft were produced, in several variations, with production ending in 1973.


  • Be-12
  • Be-12EKO
  • Be-12I
  • Be-12LL
  • Be-12N
  • Be-12Nkh
  • Be-12P
  • Be-12P-200
  • Be-12PS
  • Be-12SK
  • Be-14
  • M-12

The Be-12 entered service with Soviet Naval Aviation, or AV-MF (Aviatcia Voenno-Morskogo Flota), in the early 1960s in the maritime patrol role, and is one of the few amphibians still in military service in the world. Initially its role was ASW patrol, but when newer missiles enabled United States Navy submarines to launch from further offshore it was converted to the search and rescue role (Be-12PS). Small numbers are still in service. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, some aircraft were converted to water bombers for the suppression of forest fires. During development of the Beriev Be-200 unique fire-fighting equipment was tested using a specially modified Be-12P, code-named "12 Yellow". After installation of the fire-fighting system, the aircraft was registered as RA-00046 and given the designation Be-12P-200. This modified Be-12 was also used to trial firefighting operations envisaged for the Be-200. According to figures released in 1993, the Russian Navy had 55 aircraft in service. By 2005 this had dropped to 12, and by 2008 there were only nine aircraft still in service. A surviving Be-12 is preserved at the Central Air Force Museum at Monino, outside of Moscow. Other examples exist at the Ukraine State Aviation Museum at Kiev, Ukraine and that the Taganrog Air Museum, in southern Russia.

Role Maritime patrol aircraft
Manufacturer Beriev OKB
First flight October 1960
Introduction 1960s
Status Operational (in small numbers)
Primary user Soviet Naval Aviation
Number built 143
Developed from Beriev Be-6

General characteristics

  • Crew: Four
  • Length: 30.11 m (98 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 29.84 m (97 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 7.94 m (26 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 99.0 m² (1,065 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 24,000 kg (52,800 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 29,500 kg (64,900 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 36,000 kg (79,200 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Ivchenko Progress AI-20D turboprops, 3,864 kW (5,180 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 530 km/h (290 kn, 330 mph)
  • Range: 3,300 km (1,800 nmi, 2,100 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 8,000 m (26,247 ft)
  • Wing loading: 298 kg/m² (61 lb/ft²)
  • Power/mass: 260 W/kg (0.16 hp/lb)


  • 1,500 kg (3,300 lb) of external stores, including bombs, depth-charges and torpedoes

End notes