More Abandoned Soviet Stuff: Ekranoplan

Stumbled across some more amazing images of abandoned old Soviet stuff. It seems that Livejournal still retains popularity in Russia as a place to document the ruins of the empire.

This is/was the Lun Class Ekranoplan, as far as is known the only one of it's type ever built. The Lun is a ground effect vehicle, a kind of craft that utilises the aerodynamics of flight very close to the surface of water or the earth in order to attain some small altitude and thus reduce friction.

This one, nicknamed the Caspian Sea Monster due to it's size and at the time, confidential presence was only one of a number of GEV developed by the USSR from the sixties onwards.

Because most of Russia's water territories were inland, they were relatively calm and so perfect for GEV activity. The frictionless movement also gave them a speed advantage over traditional ship hulls, it could travel at around 300 knots or 550mph against a normal fast attack ship's 50 knots. The Lun was fitted with six missile launchers, intended to be armed with Mosquito missiles to repel ground troops that might come through Europe in fast, successive attacks.

Here are some more images of what's left of her, from here.

Some horrid video below, turn the sound off.