You haven’t seen a hovercraft, until you’ve seen the Zubr-class, a class of air-cushioned landing craft of Soviet design that’s currently the world’s largest. It’s designed to sealift landing assault units (such as marines or tanks) from equipped/non-equipped vessels to non-equipped shore, as well as transport and plant mines. Continue reading for more.
There are currently nine ships in active service in the world. The Zubr is used by the Russian, Ukrainian, and Greek navies. The transfer of the Kefalonia (L-180), the first of two Zubr hovercraft purchased by Greece, to the Hellenic Navy marked the first time that a Russian-made ship was purchased by the navy of a NATO member.
The Zubr landing craft has a cargo area of 400 square metres (4,300 sq ft), and a fuel capacity of 56 tons. It can carry three main battle tanks, or ten armoured vehicles with 140 troops, or 8 armored 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).