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Video: Iran Unveils Squadron of Ground Effect Vehicles

SS2 First flight

October 13, 2010 — Late last month (September) during its Week of Sacred Defense celebrations, Iran debuted the first operational squadron of their domestically-built Bavar 2 ground effect vehicle (GEV). The one- and two-seat flying boats feature low-slung wings supported by outrigger pontoons and a raised pusher prop aft of the cockpit. The Iranian Student News Agency reports that the GEVs, which are designed to fly just above the surface, are armed with machine guns, carry surveillance equipment, and have radar-evading technology.

The Bavar 2 is to be used for patrol and reconnaissance missions, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the Iranian state-linked Fars news agency. Defense officials have not been very detailed about the true use of the aircraft outside of published reports. No information was available on range, payload, top speed, and other key capabilities other than speculation from Western media.

GEVs use the laws of aerodynamics based on the wingspan of the aircraft to operate just above the surface. Within this wingspan distance above the surface there is less aircraft-produced drag from wing-tip vortices, thus allowing the aircraft to become airborne at a slower speed. In the past the Soviet military has toyed with military deployments of GEVs. There are many past and current civilian efforts underway including one in Korea.

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