(CNN) China has completed what it describes as the world’s largest seaplane.
The amphibious AG600 is about the size of a Boeing 737 and will be used to fight forest fires and perform marine rescue operations, state-run news agency Xinhua said.
With a maximum take-off weight of 53.5 tons, the AG600 is the largest seaplane in the world, Xinhua said. It has a reported flight range of 4,500 kilometers and can collect 12 tons of water in only 20 seconds.
Earlier this month, China unveiled its first homegrown large military transport aircraft, as the country pushes to greatly expand its air power.
The Y-20, with a maximum takeoff weight of about 200 tons, officially joined the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in a ceremony Wednesday in the southwestern city of Chengdu, according to China’s Defense Ministry.
Designed to transport cargo and people over long distances in challenging weather, the Y-20 — powered by four turbofan engines — is reportedly capable of flying 4,500 kilometers with a full load. Its range would extend to almost 8,000 kilometers when carrying 40 tons of freight.
The plane is part of a massive program to modernize China’s armed forces, the world’s largest, which includes the development of aircraft carriers, anti-satellite missiles and stealth fighters.
CNN’s Steven Jiang contributed to this report from Beijing.