This is what a 550-ton hovercraft landing on a Russian beach looks like

Wed, 08/21/2013 - 3:53pm
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

Alright, so technically the beach is a military zone and, technically, it's not a beach that people should be swimming from or sunbathing on, but that is one scary-looking piece of military equipment. According to a Russian defense ministry spokesperson, it's actually a government-owned beach and the landing was part of some military practice maneuvers. But still, can you imagine a 550-ton (fully-loaded) hovercraft crashing your day at the beach? This particular beach is located near Kaliningrad. The hovercraft is a Zubr (Bison) and it's also used by the Hellenic Navy of Greece, Ukrainian Navy, and People's Liberation Army Navy of China. It's capable of carrying tanks and up to 400 troops as well as its share of sophisticated weaponry. It's said to be the largest hovercraft in the world at 187 feet long, with a beam of 84 feet, and a draught of 5.2 feet.

As for the guns, the ship has "two stabilized multiple rocket launchers, four Igla-1M portable air defense missile systems, and two AK-630 30mm automatic gun mounts." The propulsion system works using four bladed propellers that allow to ship to move at up to 60 knots.  The air-cushion that allows the hovercraft to, well, hover is created using high-temperature gas turbine engines to power the blowers (model NO-10) and air propellers.

Even though noone on the beach seems that bothered by this hovercraft pulling up, it's still an impressive piece of military prowess.


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