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Russian Navy

Project 1232.2 Zubr
Pomornik class
Amphibious landing craft

The Zubr (Bison) is the world's largest air-cushion vehicle. This Russian Air Cushion Landing Craft, known by the NATO codename Pomornik [Skua], came into service in 1986. The mission of the ships is to carry out rapid sea-lift and beach landing of assault troops and combat material on territory held by hostile forces. The ships also provides fire support for the troop operations on shore. The ships are capable of laying active minefields.

The ships are equipped with two stabilised multiple rocket launchers, four Igla-1M portable air defence missile systems, and two AK-630 30 mm automatic gun mounts. The Zubr Class ships can carry up to 130 tons of cargo: three medium battle tanks such as the T-80B tank, or eight BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles, or ten BTR-70 armoured personnel carriers, or 360 fully equipped amphibious landing troops. The ships have a bow and a stern ramp for fast landing of troops and combat material. The ships have a top speed of 60 knots. It can move on sea surface, sandbanks, marshes and overcomes obstacles up to 2 meters.

Apparently some ten units were built between 1986 and 1994. Of these, one was completed for Ukraine and three additional units were tranferred to Ukraine. The design is believed to be rather unreliable, and the standard engine lifetime of 500 hours is said to diminish to 50 hours when the payload is increased from one to three tanks. The six remaining Russian units are generally believed to remain in service, though some may be inoperable or in reserve. Reportedly the Greek Navy intends to buy two from the Russian Navy and two more that would be built in Ukraine. In the early 1990s two units were cancelled and scrapped incomplete. The disposition and chronology of specific units is conjectural.


  • Sudostroil'noye Obyedieneniye (Almaz), Dekabristov SY, St. Petersburg
  • Yuzhnaya Tochka SY, Feodosiya
  • Displacement (tons): 480 tons standard
    535 tons full load
    Speed (kts): 60-63 knots
    Dimensions (m): 56.2 meters long
    22.3 meters beam
    2.0 meters draft
    Propulsion: 5 gas. turbines x 10000 hp; 3 four bladed variable air props., GT generator: 4x100 kW;  300 n.m/55 kts; endurance: 5 days
    Crew: 21-31 crew
    Missiles: 2x22 140mm Ogon launchers (132 missiles)
    4 x 4 SA Strela-3 total: 32
    Guns: 2 x 6 AK-630 gattl. AA (6 x 30 mm; r: 6'000rds/m/mount; 6000 rounds)
    Military lift: 3 T-80 tanks or 8 BMP-3 or 10 BTR-80 APC or 140 assault troops with 130 tons cargo
    Electronics: General detection radar
    Navigation radar
    Electronic Countermeasures System

    Class Listing

    #numberName Laid Down Launched Comm. Stricken
    1MDK-95 ? 1986 ? inoperable or in reserve
    2MDK-97 ? 1987? inoperable or in reserve
    3MDK-103 ? 1988? inoperable or in reserve
    4MDK-104 ? 1988? inoperable or in reserve
    5MDK-106 ? 1989? inoperable or in reserve
    6MDK-109 ? 1990? inoperable or in reserve
    7MDK-116 ? 1991three units tranferred to Ukraine
    8MDK-117 ? 1992three units tranferred to Ukraine
    9MDK-118 ? 1993three units tranferred to Ukraine
    10MDK-123? 1994One completed for Ukraine
    11? 1994two units cancelled and scrapped incomplete
    12? 1994two units cancelled and scrapped incomplete
    13Greek Navy
    14Greek Navy

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