Kaspiysk harbor, Republic of Dagestan — Russian Federation
A white relict lays abandoned in the Kaspiysk harbor since the collapse of Soviet Union.
The sole vessel of her class, this exotic vehicle entered service with the Black Sea Fleet in 1987. A flying-boat — moving along on a dynamic cushion of air that is generated by its forward movement — this aircraft was equipped for anti-surface warfare.
Eight turbojets were mounted on forward-located canards. The warcraft was fitted with six missile launchers, mounted in pairs on the dorsal surface of the fuselage. Nose and tail were hosting advanced tracking systems. The commissioned cruise speed was 297 knots (550 km/h), with a maximum range of 1,000 nm (1,860 km).
Abandoned to its destiny following the fall of the Soviet regime, its existence and capabilities were kept secret until 1990: a common fate with the Soviet spacecraft Buran — a russian version of the Space Shuttle.
Some rumors on the internet say that in 2007, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation decided to resume production of this model of ekranoplan (screen craft or skimmer, in Russian). As of today, it is just of interest for Cold War archeologists.
The coordinates to find the ekranoplan on Google Maps are: 42.881859,47.656519
Some old pictures, and a rare video were posted on Russian Connection. The pictures posted here are taken from a Russian blog, where more are available. A video of flying Ekranoplan: http://www.megavideo.com/v/TSQWEWTDadbaea899fd650ccdc1cc181639077b7
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Like Soviet and post-Soviet spacecrafts, aircrafts and warfare? Me too! Take a look here, my other posts and photo-galleries:
- This is Not the Space Shuttle: the Soviet Buran
- The Baikonur Cosmodrome
- A Siberian factory: air superiority fighters, being constructed!