On March 1, the Russian shipyard Yantar has completed the repairs of the world’s largest air-cushion amphibious assault ship Yevgeny Kocheshkov operational in the Baltic Fleet. The repairs took less than two weeks despite the complex ice situation untypical for the region. The Shipyard’s specialists have high competences of repairing aluminum hulls and constantly maintain the technical readiness of ships of this class and regularly hold repairs. The Yantar Shipyard is a part of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation. Yantar was established in 1945 on the base of the German former (Schichau) company. The history of the Shipyard is inseparably linked with formation and development of the youngest Russian region – Kaliningrad region.
The Yevgeny Kocheshkov is a Zubr-class (Project 1232.2, NATO reporting name “Pomornik”) air-cushion small amphibious assault ship. The ship has been operational in the Baltic Fleet since October 1990. This class of military hovercraft is the world’s largest, with a standard full load displacement of 555 tons. The hovercraft was designed to sealift amphibious assault units (such as marines and tanks) from equipped/non-equipped vessels to non-equipped shores, as well as to transport and plant naval mines. High strength and buoyancy is provided by a rectangular pontoon, the main load-carrying part of the ship’s hull. The warship is armed with two 140mm A-22 ‘Ogon’ rocket launchers, two 30mm AK-630 automatic guns and eight sets of Igla man-portable air defense systems.
The Zubr-class 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 (up to 150 tonnes), or ten armoured vehicles with 140 troops (up to 131 tonnes), or 8 armoured 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). At full displacement the ship is capable of negotiating up to 5-degree gradients on non-equipped shores and 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)-high vertical walls. The Zubr class remains seaworthy in conditions up to Sea State 4. The vessel has a cruising speed of 30–40 knots (56–74 km/h; 35–46 mph). The ship is protected from magnetic influence mines with an active system to compensate for the magnetic fields generated by the ship and transported materials.