|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (December 2008)|
A PT-76 tank emerges from an Aist-class LCAC
|Builders:||Almaz Shipbuilding Company|
|Operators:|| Soviet Navy
|Type:||Air-cushioned landing craft|
|Displacement:||298 long tons (303 t) full load|
|Length:||47.3 m (155 ft 2 in)|
|Beam:||17.8 m (58 ft 5 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × 9,600 hp (7.2 MW) Kuznetsov NK-12MV gas turbines driving 4 axial lift fans and 4 propeller units (4 × four-bladed variable pitch propellers, 2 pusher, 2 tractor)|
|Speed:||70 knots (130 km/h; 81 mph)|
|Range:||120 nmi (220 km) at 50 kn (93 km/h; 58 mph)|
or 4 light tanks and 50 assault troops
or 2 medium tanks and 200 troops
or 3 APCs and 100 troops
|Complement:||15 (3 officers)|
|• Kivach I band surface search radar
• Drum Tilt H/I-band fire-control radar
• High Pole B Square Head IFF
|Armament:||• 2 × twin AK-230 30 mm
• 2 × quadruple SA-N-5 SAM launcher systems (not on all ships)
• 2 × PK-16 chaff launchers (only on two ships)
The Aist class was built to roughly the same size as the British SR.N4 commercial channel ferry. The Russian name for this class is "maly desantny korabl na vozdushnoy podushke" meaning "small landing craft on air cushion". The Aist class prototype was built in 1970 and the type entered production in Leningrad in 1975. It was produced there at a rate of about six every four years. By the early 1990s twenty to twenty four had been produced. They began to be withdrawn following the fall of the Soviet Union, and by 2004 only six remained, in two levels of configuration. A modified main engine intake was installed on all Russian Navy Aists in service with the Baltic Sea fleet. These intakes are believed to include special filters to reduce the ingestion of salt water, sand and dust particles into Aist's engines and machinery, limiting the effects of salt water corrosion. The Aist have suffered from high cushion pressure, and produce exceptionally heavy cushion spray, especially at low speeds.
Three modified Aists (700 series) are based in the Baltic Sea, the other three are in the Caspian. 609 participated in the Caspian Sea exercise in 2002. The earlier engines have been upgraded to allow an increase in displacement to 298 tons, up from the type's original 260 tons, but at a loss of roughly half the type's original range. Some units carry two SA-N-5 quadruple SAM systems and chaff launchers.
In addition to the Baltic Sea upgrades several variants have been built and differ externally in fin height, overall length, superstructure details and defensive armament.
In an effort to reduce accidents an Aist combat mission simulator was produced by the former Soviet Navy to improve the ability of Aist commanders to operate the craft on the sea and beaches.
The Aist was upgraded during the 1990s to carry 80 tons of cargo.
- MDK 89 (former 730)
- MDK 113 (former 722)
- Sharpe, Richard (RN), Jane's Fighting Ships 1990-91, ISBN 0-7106-0904-3
- (English) All 20 Aist class LCAC - Complete Ship List