LUN-Class Ekranoplan

Is it a ship or aircraft? it's a GEV "Ground Effect Vehicle"...which is defined as: the vehicle that attains level flight near the surface of the earth, making use of the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface...

Our GEV here is the Soviet Lun-Class Ekranoplan aircraft which is named "Duck" by NATO, was built in 1987 and served for both Soviet and Russian navies till late 1990s.
It was one of the largest "Seaplanes" ever built and which fly only 4 meters or little less above surface of water !!!

Fitted with 8 turbofans which can carry this 286 tonnes beast to a maximum speed of 550km/h, and enable it carry another 100 tonnes..!!!

In addition to the very basic self-defense of 2 gun turrets (which make it an easy prey for any faster aircraft or anti-ship missile), it's designed to carry 6 launchers for SS--22 Sunburn missiles.

Note the reflectors which re-orient missile's flames aside the fuselage.

It realy looks like a castel built of concrete !!

A glance at flaps and wing section can give a small idea where these 286 tonnes are distributed.

Sunburn is a 10m long and 4.5 tonnes anti-ship missile with an active-radar guidance system and operational range of 120km.

The dock is designed and built specially for this GEV, with a displacement of 500 tonnes.

The solid fin carries the rear elevators which have only little less wingspan than the wings.

Each turbofan produces almost the double thrust of a Tumansky R-15 does (which is fitted to the Mig-25). 

Huge bubbles on the fin, they include together with the nose the advanced tracking and targeting system for the Sunburns.

View from the tail gun turret.

And a view from the cabin, note that the crew consist of 6 officers and 9 enlisted men.

Crew bedroom...

Nice shot for this beast shows the few meters separate the 300+ tonnes fuselage over water surface while launching a missile.

Only one Lun-Class was built and it's still remained at a naval base near Kaspiysk city on the Caspian Sea.


  1. Awesome, to see this Caspian sea monster speeding above the water level must have been an amazing sight. Great photos

  2. Sad to see this amazing vehicle just rust away. Should be on a museum!!

  3. Fascinating!!It is truly amazing what wounderous, almost mythical vehicles we as humans have constructed within the past hundred years, we are capable of so much yet we devote most of it for destruction, non the less this caspian sea monster is one of the most impressive creations I have yet seen.