Zubr Class – World’s Largest Military Hovercraft

Gizmodo points us towards the Russian navy’s Zubr Class hovercraft.  Now this is not a new design.  There have been three in service with the Russian Navy since 1988, with 2 more in the Ukraine navy and even more with the Greek navy.

The vessels are designed for military transport with the capacity to carry nearly 130 tons of cargo including multiple tanks, equipment and troops with the unique ability to deploy them directly onto land.  The Zubr can cruise at max speed of 60 knots for 300 miles.

Naval-technology.com tells us about its propulsion systems:

Three upright ring shrouds, housing the air propellers and standing upright at the back of the ship, give the Zubr its distinctive appearance. The four bladed propellers which are provide the ship with a top speed of 60 knots. High-temperature gas turbine engines provide the power to drive the air-cushion blowers and the air propellers. The craft has four blowers model NO-10, fitted with axial operating wheels of 2.5m diameter, to generate the air cushion. The air thrust for movement is powered by three four-bladed, reversible, variable-pitch air propellers, 5.5m in diameter. The air propellers are mounted inside ring shrouds. The Zubr is equipped with two electric power plants. Each power plant has two gas turbine generators, each rated at 100kW. Control of the ship and systems is carried out from a main control station, a central control room and through various remote control panels.

Now let’s take a look at this thing in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7lZV23iNkM

Note:  The Bora is larger, but not considered a true hovercraft since its side structure reaches the water.