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Thursday, April 28, 2022

This Soviet monster left dull and rusting on the shore of the Caspian Sea

~Ended in Vain~ After some time ago, we had discussed the Bartini-Beriev VVA-14, one of the Soviet Union's seaplane could be functioned as an ekranoplan that can fly very close to the surface of the water or land by utilizing an aerodynamic principle called the ground effect. So have any true ekranoplanes ever been built other than the seaplane mentioned above?
The Lun-class MD-160 Ekranoplan is designed by by Rostislav Alexeyev back in 1975 as a battleship-killing ekranoplan that could hover only inches above the water, making it difficult for enemy radar to detect. (Picture from: IndoMiliter)
Well, during the cold war era, the Soviet Union had developed true ekranoplan, some kind of a hybrid winged ship featured with Wings in Ground Effect (WIG) technology. It has been known only one unit ever built named the Lun-class MD-160 Ekranoplan was equipped with very lethal anti-ship missiles and also powered by several turbojets, so made it able to soar quickly above the ocean waves.
The only Soviet-era Lun-class MD-160 ekranoplan ever completed has been left to rust for 30 years, but now this remarkable flying machine is on the move.. (Picture from: Tekno-Tempo)
The Soviet engineers of Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau began building this ekranoplan for the Sovyet Union Navy in 1987 and upon completion it was put into service for a very short time ranging from 1989 to the 1990s. Early in its construction, the Soviet's ekranoplan was designed by Rostislav Alexeyev back in 1975 as a battleship-killing ekranoplan that could hover only inches above the water, making it difficult for enemy radar to detect. This ekranoplan is also equipped with eight turbojet engines mounted on the front and capable to give it a speed of up to 375 miles per hour.
The only Soviet-era Lun-class MD-160 ekranoplan is equipped with eight turbojet engines mounted on the front and capable to give it a speed of up to 375 miles per hour. (Picture from: Merah-Putih)
During the construction process, the winged ship project received great attention from NATO. How not, the Soviet's ekranoplan manned by 10 crews capable to hovering between 1 to 5 meters above the ocean waves at a speed of Mach-3, and is equipped with six P-270 Moskit anti-ship missiles. Those kind of missiles can carry nuclear warheads, capable hit targets from a distance of 64 miles, and considered more lethal than the US Navy's Harpoon missiles.
By carrying ix P-270 Moskit anti-ship missiles, the Lun-class MD-160 Ekranoplan has capability to sink large enemy ships, including the US Navy aircraft carrier. (Picture from: Merah-Putih)
By carrying such weapon system as mentioned above, the Lun-class MD-160 Ekranoplan has capability to sink large enemy ships, including the US Navy aircraft carrier, so that with such killing abilities, it is no doubt that it has earned it the nickname of the Caspian Sea Monster.
Today the MD-160 Ekranoplan even more worsened, it can be seen from the ekranoplan fuselage looks dull and rusty here and there. (Picture from: Merah-Putih)
However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the cold war, the ekranoplan project stalled. There is only one ekranoplan that has been successfully produced, and even then with a relatively short service time and without fighting. In the 1990s, the Lun-class MD-160 Ekranoplan was retired and kept at the Kaspiysk Naval Base.
The only Lun-class MD-160 ekranoplan is actually going to be moved from the Kaspiysk Naval Base to a park in Derbent, Dagestan on July 31, 2020, but it was still hampered when the ekranoplan failed to tow ashore and ended up sitting on the shore of the Caspian Sea. (Picture from: CNN)
Now, the Caspian Sea Monster was only a name. Its story should be entered the final chapter, which is to become a display in a museum. So, this winged ship is actually going to be moved from the Kaspiysk Naval Base to a park in nearest city of Derbent, Dagestan on July 31, 2020. However, the transfer effort was still hampered when the 380 tonnes ekranoplan failed to tow ashore and ended up sitting on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
This condition no doubt made the MD-160 Ekranoplan even more worsened. It can be seen from the ekranoplan fuselage looks dull and rusty here and there which is now a selfie location for some people who pass by. In fact, there are also people who climb the wings of it to take pictures. There was a sad possibility that the sea monster would be blown to pieces by the times. Surely it was a very tragic ending for one of the most impressive rides ever built.😢 *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | CNN ]
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