Giant F*ck-Off Aircraft, Military-Grade Awesome, Pushing Boundaries

Black Sea Beast

On Tuesday engineerd presented us with the incredible LCAC hovercraft. And while it is a mind-blowing piece of hardware, it’s not the mind-blowingest hovercraft in the world. Yes, leave it to the Russians to always build something bigger.

The Zubr (named after an Eastern European bison) is the world’s largest hovercraft. It was designed to perform much the same mission as the LCAC – fast delivery of troops and vehicles over water and into a combat zone. It’s equipped with living quarters, NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection, and an armoured command centre. It also carries armaments from SAM missiles to missile decoys to mines. You’d probably want to be sailing something pretty serious before you tangled with this fan-propelled monster.

While achieving similarly high straight-line speeds to the LCAC, the Zubr can carry up to 500 troops or 130 tonnes of tank, or roughly double the LCAC’s capacity, over swells of up to 2.5 metres and climb 1.6 metre walls while fully loaded. I’ll leave our American readers to translate those figures into the language of fear and xenophobia (1/8ths or something?)

Presumably due to its leviathan size and associated costs, the Zubr is even rarer than its over-hunted bovine namesake. The Russian navy operates two, the Ukraine has two, and the Greeks (the Greeks!) have four. I guess if you want to take back Turkish-held Cyprus, you’ll want a fleet of Zubrs on your side. The Chinese also have four on order; two of which will be built in the Ukraine and two in China. Way to keep advancing Chinese military might, everyone.

  • skitter

    The first photo looked normal enough.
    The second made me stare slack-jawed for a solid five seconds.

    • Number_Six
      • Number_Six

        That was my fifth reply, after four were eaten by Intense Debate. The Hummer nearest the Zubr ought to give some more idea of the scale of the thing.

        • skitter

          I sincerely thank you for your persistence.

      • P161911

        Those must be the Greek ones. M113s and HMMVs doesn't seem like Russia, the Ukraine, or China.

  • I want one of these. Seriously, if there are any black market arms dealers out there that could hook me up with the right people to get one of these, I'm willing to sell my entire family into slavery for one.

    My god, that is the most impressive/awesome/incredible thing I've seen all week. Oh, and damn you Number_Six for one upping me like this. It's on. It's on like Donkey Kong!

    • Number_Six

      Hey, don't blame me (Canada), blame Russia!

    • PowerTryp

      Ooooh! Lets start an Atomic Toasters savings account that we'll all pay into till we can buy one of these beasts. I've got $5 that I can pay into it right now that's $5 Canadian which upon checking is still worth more than a U.S. dollar.

  • PowerTryp

    Honestly I think this thing looks like a spaceship but really it could just be the fact that I'm watching too much stargate…

    <img src="; width="600">

  • CruisinTime

    What a beast.