Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for.... Hovercraft

Bit of a random topic, but here goes. I occasionally peruse the Defense Industry Daily website. While the articles are largely not available for non-subscribers, there are occasional full length freebies, as well as short summaries.

I happened across this the other day and was quite astounded by the size of this beast.
"The Zubr Class is the world’s largest hovercraft, displacing 555 tonnes. It has over twice the tonnage carrying capacity of the US Navy’s LCACs (150 tons to 70 tons); the ability to carry a number of weapons including 140mm rocket pods, 30mm cannon, or air defense missiles; and a cruising range of around 300 nautical miles.

The thing that got me was the multiple tanks (or more likely, APC's) that can be seen coming out fo this thing. The general idea of the article is that 6 of these hovercraft bought by china represent a extra threat for a Taiwan invasion or, indeed, any sort of island fights in China's backyard. 

Here is a further quote from the hovercraft's manufacturer Almaz:
Maximum speed of "Zubr" is more than 60 knots (110 km/h). The ship is capable to carry up to 500 people of landing troops, or three tanks, or ten infantry combat vehicles and to carry out their disembarkation to unprepared coast. To solve close-range anti-aircraft defense tasks and to destroy sea and shore targets two 30-mm automatic artillery gun mounts АК-630М are installed on the ship. To neutralize enemy`s on-shore base stations two 140-mm ship`s launchers MC-227 are installed on the ship.Two launchers of a missile complex of "Igla-1M" type may be installed aboard "Zubr". The ship may be used as a minelayer for a concealed mine fields laying.  

It's cool knowing these type of rough numbers for a wargame. I can imagine creating some linked campaigns out of a landing requiring the troops to seize and hold some important objectives. This also feels sorta right to me for a decent sized dropship for a sci-fi game setup.

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