The new giant ground effect vehicle will be used for transpolar operations and supplying polar stations, Russian Izvestiya reports.
Russian military commissioned a superheavy transport ground effect vehicle, which will be able to touch down on both land and water. The vehicle’s size will be comparable to the Caspian Sea Monster. The vehicle is planned to be used in the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic for rescue operations and transporting cargo to remote bases.
According to some experts, vehicles like this can be an “ideal fit” for airborne assault forces, as they’re much faster than ships and are hard to detect by radar, with mines and torpedoes being ineffective against them.
Russian Navy reported, that the ground effect vehicle development development prototype is included in the 2018-2025 weapons development program. The prototype is being developed by Alekseyev Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau. The working title of the vehicle is “Spasatel” (The Rescuer). The prototype will weigh 600 tonnes, and will be 93 meters long with the wingspan of 71 m. The superheavy design was set on because these vehicles can handle unsafe sea.
The miniature “Spasatel” model was tested in the airflow laboratory at the Zhukovsky Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute. The full-fledged experimental prototype is planned to be built in 2022-2023, with the tests slated to be fully done by 2025.
The vehicle should be able to touch down on both land and water, unlike the previous Soviet ground effect vehicles which had been able to only land on water. It’s planned to be able to transport 500 people. It’s maximum speed is estimated to be 500 km/h.