The Soviet Navy’s Massive Lun-Class Ekranoplan Decaying by the Caspian Sea

Lun-class-ektranoplan-4 (Image: Tom Wigley, cc-nc-sa-4.0)

It may look like a seaplane or hydrofoil, but this massive Lun-class ekranoplan is actually a ground effect vehicle (GEV), designed to skim across the surface of the water at five metres. The craft, however, is well and truly grounded inside a decaying Russian naval storage facility at Kaspiysk on the western shores of the Caspian Sea.

Lun-class-ektranoplan-5 (Image: Tom Wigley, cc-nc-sa-4.0)

Known to NATO countries rather unflatteringly as the Duck, the high-speed vessel designed by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeev entered service with the Soviet Navy’s Black Sea Fleet in 1987.

Lun-class-ektranoplan-6 (Image: Tom Wigley, cc-nc-sa-4.0)

Numbered MD-160, the lone Lun-class ekranoplan was tasked with anti-surface warfare and carried an arsenal of guided missiles inside six launch tubes mounted on its dorsal spine.


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