Russia is planning to develop a prototype of ‘Orlan’ wing-in ground-effect craft armed with missiles under the state armament program through 2027.
"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," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov was quoted as saying by Tass on Monday.
Orlan 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. 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.