The Greek Ministry of Defense and the Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-owned arms-export company, have signed a $63.9-million contract for a third Zubr-class (12322 project) hovercraft for the Hellenic Navy. The craft is to be built at the Almaz shipbuilding yards in St. Petersburg
I am afraid your right there Sergy, far too many 'cold warriors' are still left in the decision making process for equipment buying here. Their attitude to Russian kit is rather schizophrenic, on one hand its so good we must immediately upgrade to Eurofighter, type 45, FRES etc on the other its so bad we must NEVER use or buy it (or is that just the Western Arms salesman talking, prehaps Rosoboronexport should start offering nice jobs to retiring MOD types ).
The attitude is pervasive - look at the ARRSE thread about using private Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, most ARRSER's it seems would rather have British positions be unsupplied and overrun than use Russian Helos.
If they are worried about the build quality then license European construction - I have always found Russian designs to be ground breaking and highly effective (as did the Germans from 1941 onwards).
Apparently China is buying six of these hovercraft next year - cannot think why.
The Project 12322 Zubr class can carry 130t of cargo, 500 troops, three 50t Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), 10 BTR-70 wheeled Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), or eight BMP-2 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles, with fore and aft ramps for rapid deployment of troops and vehicles.
The hovercraft is armed with two MS-227 (SA-N-5 Grail) quadruple Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launchers and two AK-630 six-barrelled 30mm close-in weapons systems.
The Zubr has a maximum speed of more than 60kts and a range of 300nmi (556km). This would make it ideal for an invasion of Taiwan, although six Zubrs would probably not be enough. The first six may be intended for Chinese Special Operations Forces, or to transport tanks in support of an airborne assault on Taiwan.
It is thought that the PLA wants to build many more Zubrs in China over the next 3-5 years, possibly using Ukrainian UGT 6000 gas turbines as their main powerplants. In 2004, the Ukraine delivered one UGT 6000 to China.