Russian Navy Landing Craft Under Construction with Air Cavity Hull Design

By George Backwell at January 21, 2012 22:43
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A high-speed military landing craft for the Russian Navy with an air cavity hull designed by Alekseyev Hydrofoil Ship Central Design (AHSCD) – claimed to be the world's first to be installed in an amphibious assault craft – began construction at the JSC Varoslavl Shipyard a few days ago. The craft to be named Denis Davydov is one of three contracted to be built by this shipyard for delivery later this year. (First of the Dyugon-class, Ataman Platov, was laid down in February 2006 and has been serving in the Caspian Sea Flotilla since 2009).

Russian Navy Landing Craft – Dyugon-class Ataman Platov: Photo: Russian Navy

Air Cavity Hull Systems

Air lubrication systems, where portions of the ship slide as if on a carpet of air or bubbles, save propulsion energy, and with consequent less fuel consumption reduce main engine exhaust gas emissions.

It is not clearly stated what type of air cavity system (there are a few) is to be incorporated in the Denis Davydov assault landing craft.  Russian academic research institutes have been active in related R&D since the 1960's, reportedly now predicting a theoretical reduction in hull drag by up to 20 %; it will be interesting to know what gains will be achieved by the Denis Davydov on pre-delivery sea trials later in the year.

Front runner in this field in Western Europe is Rotterdam-based DK Group, which in collaboration with the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) developed and patented their own ‘Air Cavity System’ (ACS).  This system injects air under pressure to broad, shallow recesses deliberately built-in to the underside of the ship's underwater form, and is claimed to save up to 10 % fuel depending upon the size and type of vessel. In this ACS system, cavities are constantly monitored for air volume and pressure and the air injection system automatically cuts in to maintain the optimal air level in each hull space.

Russian Navy Dyugon-class Air Cavity Landing Craft
According to Russian Navy online the Dyugon-class main particulars are as follows:
Loaded displacement – 280 tons

Length – 45 meters  (147.6 ft)

Beam – 8.6 meters (28.2 ft)

Full speed – 35 knots

Propulsion – 2 x 9,000 shp diesels M507A-2DBTR

Carrying capacity – 140 tons of cargo or 2 main battle tanks or 5 armoured personnel carriers

Crew – 6

Armament –  2 x 14.5 mm MTPU-1 heavy machine guns

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