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MD-160, the sole Lun-class ekranoplan
|Operators:|| Soviet Navy
|In service:||1987 - 1995?-1999?|
|Class & type:||Lun|
|Type:||Ground effect vehicle transport|
|Displacement:||Displacement n/a, weight 286 tonnes unloaded|
|Beam:||(Wingspan) 44 m|
|Propulsion:||8× Kuznetsov NK-87 turbojet engines, 127.4 kN (28,600 lbf) thrust|
|Speed:||297 kn (550 km/h; 342 mph)|
|Range:||1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi)|
|Capacity:||100 tonnes (220,000 pounds)|
|Complement:||six officers and nine enlisted men|
|Puluchas search radar|
|Armament:||Six fixed-elevation SS-N-22 Sunburn antiship missile launchers
4x23 mm PI-23 turrets (2 x 2, 2,400 rounds)
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 meters or less. Lun was one of the largest seaplanes ever built, with a length of 73 m (240 ft), rivaling the Hughes H-4 Hercules ("The Spruce Goose") and many jumbo jets.
The name Lun comes from the Russian for harrier.
Design and development 
The only aircraft of this type ever built, the MD-160, entered service with the Black Sea Fleet in 1987. Eight Kuznetsov NK-87 turbofans were mounted on forward canards, and each produced 127.4 kN (28,600 lbf) thrust. It had a flying boat hull with a large deflecting plate at the bottom to provide a "step" for takeoff.
The aircraft was equipped for anti-surface warfare, and it carried the P-270 Moskit (Mosquito) guided missile. It was equipped with six missile launchers, mounted in pairs on the dorsal surface of its fuselage, and its advanced tracking systems mounted in its nose and tail.
Another version of Lun was planned for use as a mobile field hospital for rapid deployment to any ocean or coastal location. Work was about 90% complete on this model, the Spasatel ("Rescuer"), but its military funding ended, and it was never completed. The only MD-160 completed is now sitting unused at a naval station in the town of Kaspiysk.
In 2007, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation decided to resume production of this model of ekranoplan in 2012, following a detailed examination of the unit. Until then upgrades would be made to the craft. At present, the relevant government order has been received by the Alexeyev Design Bureau.
Data from 
- Crew: 15 (6 officers, 9 enlisted)
- Capacity: 137 t (300,000 lb)
- Length: 73.8 m (242 ft 2 in)
- Wingspan: 44 m (144 ft 4 in)
- Height: 19.2 m (63 ft 0 in)
- Wing area: 550 m2 (5,900 sq ft)
- Empty weight: 286,000 kg (630,522 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 380,000 kg (837,757 lb)
- Powerplant: 8 × Kuznetsov NK-87 turbofans, 127.4 kN (28,600 lbf) thrust each
- Maximum speed: 550 km/h (342 mph; 297 kn)
- Cruising speed: 450 km/h (280 mph; 243 kn) at 2.5 m (8 ft)
- Range: 2,000 km (1,243 mi; 1,080 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,606 ft) or 5 m (16 ft) in ground effect
- Guns: two 23mm Pl-23 cannon in a twin tail turret and two 23mm Pl-23 cannon in a twin turret under forward missile tubes
- Missiles: six launchers for SS-N-22 Sunburn antiship missiles
- van Optal, Edwin. "Lun". Netherlands: The WIG Page. pp. The WIG Page Datasheet no. 26. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Lun-class ekranoplan|
- Image of Lun floating with helicopter hovering nearby se-technology.com, showing armament, 8 engines and search radar
- Ekranoplan project information (pictures and videos)
- Global Aircraft site
- Image of Lun-class ekranoplan
- Recent photos of the MD-160
- Lun Ekranoplan on Google Maps
- Several images
- (English) All Lun-class Ekranoplanes - Complete Ship List
- Several close-up images