Russia to Produce Cruise Missile Armed Ground Effect Vehicles After 2020

© Sputnik / Sergey Mamontov / Go to the photo bankThe Orion 20 wing-in-ground effect aircraft at the Ground-Effect Craft Center set up on the base of the Avangard Shipyard.
The Orion 20 wing-in-ground effect aircraft at the Ground-Effect Craft Center set up on the base of the Avangard Shipyard. - Sputnik International
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Russia will renew its production after 2020 of ground effect vehicles (GEV) capable of being armed with cruise missiles, a highly-ranked Russian Naval officer told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

MOSCOW, July 29 (Sputnik) – A GEV, or ekranoplan, is a vehicle that is capable of being elevated above ground or water, but should not be confused with a hovercraft or aircraft, though it floats like both above surfaces.

“The topic of ekranoplans is to be renewed with strike capabilities…and carry cruise missiles. Construction should begin after 2020 in the city of Nizhny Novgorod,” the Naval officer said.

According to the officer, the Defense Ministry has issued tactical and technical requirements and development work is underway.

Previously, two GEV models were developed for the Soviet and Russian Armed Forces — a military-transport Orlyonok ekranoplan and the Lun-class ekranoplan with cruise missiles, but in the 1990s, these projects were curtailed after funding was cut.

At present, the only existing model of Lun GEV is decommissioned and mothballed in the Caspian Sea.

Earlier, Russia presented a coastal zone GEV with a takeoff weight of 60 metric tons at a specialized exhibition.

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