The National Interest (USA): Russia revives “Caspian monster” during the cold war

For starters, what is an ekranoplan? The airfoil uses aerodynamic phenomenon called ground effect. Ground effect occurs when flying at very low altitude and represents the incoming flow between the wings of the plane and the surface forming the airbag. At low altitudes, say, at a height of from 3 to 15 meters, the drag of the wing is much less than at higher altitudes. With a smaller frontal resistance, the flight becomes more effective, a wig often have very short wings, since at low altitudes they create lift sufficient for flight.

The airfoil was created in 1980-1990-ies for the Soviet Navy. Perhaps the most famous of them were high-speed freight-landing winged/ecranele A-90 “Eaglet”, which was based in the Black and Caspian seas.

As I wrote earlier, at the end of 1980-ies was built larger project ekranoplan “LUN”, which caused a stir in the US intelligence community that did not know, what is ekranoplan “LUN”, and dubbed it the “Caspian sea monster”. This giant winged with eight engines was both the heaviest and the largest of the aircraft that existed in the mid-1960s until the end of 1980-ies.

Information from Twitter

A few years ago in Twitter account associated with Russian Embassy in South Africa, it was reported that this year Russia will begin construction of a new wig. It turned out that the wig, which was discussed, is called “Seagull-2”. On the website of the Central design Bureau named Alekseev said that the wig “Chaika-2” is designed for high-speed “transportation of passengers and cargo in marine coastal areas”, and, apparently, this wig can be used low temperatures and is able to land on the surface and snow and ice. Perhaps it is because of this the essential features of the winged “Chaika-2” is of great importance for Russia.

“Arctic” surprise

In an article published in 2018, the Russian state news Agency TASS, in General terms, was said about why the wig is so important. According to the article, they can be used “for the protection of the Northern sea route. They can patrol, to close these areas.”

The Arctic is a place for the presence in which competition is growing, since there occurs the melting of the ice, and the Arctic waters do not freeze over a longer period of time. And it is possible that over time, they will be ice-free all year round. This would contribute to the revitalization of Russian shipping, because ice-free waters, it would be possible greatly to reduce routes to North America and Asia, and also would create more favorable conditions for oil and gas exploration.
Numerous ekranoplan with missile weapons could be used as rapid reaction forces to patrol the recently “defrosted” in the Russian North. Or serve as a fairly strong argument in favor of having to be at a sufficient distance from the region during the conflict. However, despite the fact that the Arctic is becoming for Russia an increasingly important region, it is unclear how seriously to treat the project of construction of this wig. Let’s see what happens with the new “Caspian monsters”.