Zubr-class LCAC

The Zubr class (Project 1232.2, NATO reporting name "Pomornik") is a class of Soviet-designed air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC). This class of military hovercraft is, as of 2012, the world's largest, with a standard full load displacement of 555 tons.[1][4] The hovercraft was designed to sealift amphibious assault units (such as marines and tanks) from equipped/non-equipped vessels to non-equipped shores, as well as to transport and plant naval mines.

Mordoviya and Evgeniy Kocheshkov
Class overview
Builders: PO More in Feodosiya of Crimea, Khabarovsk shipyard, Almaz, Pribaltisk Yantar
In commission: 1988–present
Planned: 17
Completed: 15
Cancelled: 2
Active: 10
Retired: 5
Scrapped: 5
General characteristics
Type: Air-cushioned landing craft
  • 340 tons (light)
  • 415 tons (normal)
  • 555 tons (full load)[1]
Length: 57 m (187 ft)[2]
Beam: 25.6 m (84 ft)[3]
Draught: 1.6 m (5.2 ft)[2]
  • 3 x 10,000 hp propelling M35-1 gas turbine units or M70FRU2&2R
    2 x 10,000 hp supercharging M35-2 gas turbine units or M85RU/FR E80D7 M70FRU\2
    4 x NO10 superchargers
  • Propellers: 3 four-bladed variable-pitch propellers
  • 63 knots[1]
  • 55 knots if sustained [1]
Range: 300 nmi (560 km) at 55 knots
Complement: 31 (4 officers, 27 enlisted)[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Ekran-1 navigational radar, Lazur radar (Pozitiv radar on MDK-51), R-782 Buran communications system
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Electronic Countermeasures System: Decoys, MS-227 chaff launcher, MP-411 ESM radar system; intercept
  • 4 × Strela-3 man-portable air defence missile system launchers, plus 32 anti-personnel missiles; or 2 x Strela 2 quad launchers, manual aiming, infrared homing to 6 km (3.7 mi) at Mach 1.5, maximum altitude of 2,500 m (8,200 ft)
  • 2 × 30 mm AK-630 close in weapon systems with 6,000 rounds each, maximum range of 2 km (1.2 mi)
  • 2 × 140 mm Ogon launchers, 22 rockets each with 132 rockets in total; or 2 x 122 mm retractable rocket launchers
  • Mines (one set of removable equipment for laying from 20 to 80 mines, depending on their types)

Ten Zubr-class hovercraft remain in service. There are two vessels in the Russian Navy and four with the Hellenic Navy.[3] In 2009 China placed an order for four vessels from Ukraine [order transferred to Russia now] as part of a deal worth 315 million USD.[5] Two updated versions of the vessels were built by Crimea's Feodosia Shipbuilding Company, followed by two advanced models of the surface warship.[5][6]

The purchase of HS Cephalonia (L 180) for the Hellenic Navy marked the first time a Soviet-designed naval craft had been built for a NATO member.[7][8][9][10]

In June 2017 Russia announced the restarting of production of Zubr-class craft.[11] Representatives from the Russian shipbuilding industry soon after responded by stating production could not possibly resume in 2018 and would only be possible by 2019–2021, refuting the government position. Representatives cited the lack of availability of and inability to mass-produce components, notably gas-turbine engines and reduction gears as the main obstacles.[12]

NPO Saturn (ODK GT) and Turboros developed marine gas turbine engines M70FRU (D090), FR RU, M70FRU2 (DP/DM71) along M90FR, M75RU, E70RD8 and Elektrosila, AO Zvezda, Metallist, Samara and others developed redactors and gears.[13][14]


High strength and buoyancy is provided by a rectangular pontoon, the main load-carrying part of the ship's hull. The superstructure built on the pontoon is divided into three compartments with two longitudinal bulkheads: combat material compartment in the midsection fitted with tank ramps, and outboard sections housing main and auxiliary propulsion units, troop compartments, living quarters, and NBC protection systems. To improve working conditions in the battle stations, troop compartments and living quarters are fitted with air-conditioning and heating-systems, sound/heat-insulating coatings, and structures made of vibration damping materials. The ship provides normal conditions for the crew to make meals and rest.

Personnel are protected against the effects of weapons of mass destruction by airtight sealing of combat stations, crew and troop compartments, augmented with individual gas masks and protection suits. The ship is also protected from magnetic influence mines with an active system to compensate for the magnetic fields generated by the ship and transported materials. The central command post and MS-227 device compartments are strengthened with alloy armor.


The Zubr-class landing craft has a cargo area of 400 square metres (4,300 sq ft) and a fuel capacity of 56 tons.[2] It can carry three main battle tanks (up to 150 tonnes), or ten armoured vehicles with 140 troops (up to 131 tonnes), or 8 armoured personnel carriers of total mass up to 115 tonnes, or 8 amphibious tanks or up to 500 troops (with 360 troops in the cargo compartment).

At full displacement the ship is capable of negotiating up to 5-degree gradients on non-equipped shores and 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)-high vertical walls. The Zubr class remains seaworthy in conditions up to Sea State 4. The vessel has a cruising speed of 30–40 knots (56–74 km/h; 35–46 mph).


 Russian Navy (ex-Soviet Navy) (2)

  • 770 Evgeniy Kocheshkov (former MDK-50)
  • 782 Mordoviya (former MDK-94)

 Hellenic Navy (2 + 2)

  • HS Cephalonia (L 180, former MDK-118)
  • HS Ithaca (L 181, former U421)
  • HS Corfu (L 182)
  • HS Zakynthos (L 183)

 People's Liberation Army Navy (4: 2 delivered from Ukraine, 2 built in China)

Former operators

 Ukrainian Navy (4)

  • Donetsk (U420, former MDK-100) — decommissioned on 11 June 1999, scrapped
  • Kramatorsk (U422, former MDK-57) — decommissioned on 11 June 1999, scrapped
  • Horlivka (U423, former MDK-93) — decommissioned on 29 November 2000, scrapped
  • Artemivsk (U424, former MDK-123) — sold to Greece on 24 January 2000

See also


  1. Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems, 128
  2. Jane's Information Group, Jane's international defence review
  3. "Zubr Class (Pomornik) Air Cushioned Landing Craft, Russia". naval-technology.com. 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  4. Hellenic Navy (2008). "Hellenic Command Amphibious Forces: Ships". Hellenic Navy. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  5. "Ukraine crisis prompts hurried delivery of second Zubr LCAC to China". IHS Jane's. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  6. "China To RePay $14 Million Debt To Crimea For Zubr-class Landing Craft". www.defenseworld.net. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  7. Hellenic Navy (2008). "Hellenic Command Amphibious Forces: Introduction". Hellenic Navy. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  8. Kitov, Vladimir (2000-11-04). "Almaz launches NATO-bound craft". The Russia Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  9. Titova, Irina (2000-12-29). "City Shipyard Hovercraft Is 1st Delivery to NATO State". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  10. AVN Military News Agency web site (2000-12-20). "Russian ship joining Greek navy". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  11. Jones, Bruce (16 June 2017). "Russia to resume construction of Zubr hovercraft". IHS Jane's 360. Archived from the original on 16 June 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  12. "Production of Zubr-Class Air-Cushion Ships Resumes Only in 2019-2021, Shipbuilders Say". Mil Today. 18 June 2017. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  13. http://www.armstrade.org/includes/periodics/news/2018/0914/095548709/detail.shtml
  14. http://www.armstrade.org/includes/periodics/news/2019/0909/102054335/detail.shtml


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