MOSCOW --- A prototype of the Orlan wing-in-ground-effect craft armed with missiles is expected to be developed in Russia under the state armament program through 2027, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said on Monday.
"The state armament program for 2018-2027 includes the Orlan R&D work, which stipulates the construction of the wing-in-ground-effect craft. The prototype will be created as part of this armament program and it will carry missile armament," Borisov said.
The wing-in-ground-effect craft will be used to protect the Northern Sea Route where infrastructure is weakly protected.
"It can hover and monitor these areas, as well as the internal seas: the Caspian and the Black Seas," he said.
The new wing-in-ground-effect craft can also operate as a patrol vehicle to rescue ship crews, Borisov said.
A wing-in-ground-effect craft is a multimode vessel, which in its basic regime performs a flight using the ground effect over the water or other surface without constant contact with it. The craft is kept in the air by the aerodynamic lifting force generated on the air wing, the body or their parts designed for the use of the ground effect. The wing-in-ground-effect craft normally performs flights at a lesser altitude than ordinary aircraft but moves at a higher speed than a ship.
At the MAKS-2015 international air show outside Moscow, Russia’s Naval Aviation Chief Igor Kozhin said that the Fleet expected to get a standardized wing-in-ground-effect platform with a lifting capacity of up to 300 tonnes by 2020. As a representative of the Ramenskoye Instrument-Making Design Bureau told TASS, the company has completed developing the project of the control and information provision system for wing-in-ground-effect crafts in the interests of the Russian Navy.
Later, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Alekseyev Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau Georgy Antsev told TASS that the development of the promising universal wing-in-ground-effect craft for Russia’s Defense Ministry was at the stage of conceptual designing.