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Meet the sea-skimming vessel from Russia set to make a splash in Europe

Meet the sea-skimming vessel from Russia set to make a splash in Europe
By Chris Harris
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An Estonian entrepreneur wants to use a Russian-developed sea-skimming vessel to transport people between Tallinn and Helsinki.


A sea-skimming craft developed by the Russian military is set to make a splash in Europe.

Entrepreneur Ville Hogman told Euronews he wants to use them to transport people between Tallinn and Helsinki.

His firm, Sea Wolf Express, says the trip over the Gulf of Finland would take half-an-hour and cost around €100.

That’s more expensive and quicker than the ferry, which takes two hours. A flight takes the same time as Sea Wolf Express' service, but Hogman says his craft would drop business and leisure customers in the city centre.

The craft was initially designed by a Soviet shipbuilder and was used by the Russian navy up until the 1990s.

Hogman has ordered an updated version of the “ground-effect vehicle” from manufacturer RDC Aqualines.

By skimming close to the water, the vessel can take advantage of the increased lift and decreased drag.

This helps the craft — which can reach speeds of up to 200 km/h — to be fuel efficient and more cost-effective.

The sea-skimming vessel will be able to carry a dozen passengers but Hogman said there is the potential later on to “upscale” the number of people it transports.

He said the service was planned to launch this summer but problems with the aerodynamics have caused a delay.

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