Top Secret Russian Military Aircraft
The Lun-class ekranoplan (NATO reporting name Duck) was a ground effect aircraft designed by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeev and used by the Soviet and Russian navies from 1987 to sometime in the late 1990s. It flew using the extra lift generated by the effect of its large wings when close to the surface of the water - about four metres or less. Lun was one of the largest seaplanes ever built, with a length of 73 m (240 ft), rivalling the Hughes H-4 Hercules (The Spruce Goose) and many jumbo jets. The name Lun comes from the Russian for harrier. Aircraft was powered with eight Kuznetsov NK-87 turbofans, mounted on forward canards, each producing 127.4 kN (28,600 lbf) of thrust. It had a flying boat hull with a large deflecting plate at the bottom to provide a step for takeoff. Equipped for anti-surface warfare, it carried the P-270 Moskit (Mosquito) guided missile. Six missile launchers were mounted in pairs on the dorsal surface of its fuselage with advanced tracking systems mounted in its nose and tail. The only aircraft of this type ever built, the MD-160, entered service with the Black Sea Fleet in 1987. It became retired in the late 1990s and is now sitting unused at a naval station in Kaspiysk.