Beriev Be-12 – Warbird Wednesday Episode #199

Welcome to Warbird Wednesday! Today, we are continuing down the river looking at the Beriev Be-12. This Soviet bloc turboprop flying boat (NATO call sign “Mail”) was originally designed for maritime interdiction and anti-submarine roles but later adapted for search and rescue. Introduced in 1960, the Be-12 had a top speed of 330 mph, a significant improvement over earlier flying boats. The aircraft’s role evolved over time, including the ability to drop nuclear depth charges, but its life expectancy in a hot war was limited. The Be-12, retired by 2008 with only nine in service, saw a resurgence during the Ukraine-Russia conflict, being reintroduced for maritime patrol against airborne and seaborne threats, particularly drones.