Futuristic airships could be taking to the skies above the Far East
The Defence Ministry has already said it plans to use the 130-metre-long Atlant, which mixes together technology from planes, helicopters, hovercraft and airships.
But with the promise of it being cheaper to build than aircraft and more economical to operate, it could become the workhorse of the transport network in rural areas.
Oil and gas operators in the Far East have expressed an interest in using the 21stcentury hybrid blimp to carry payloads and ferry personnel around.
The Atlant could replace planes and helicopters for day-to-day travel around remote Siberian regions, both for commuters and tourism, and there is speculation they could also be used to monitor natural disasters or help put out wildfires.
And in a further boost for the area, it is likely a special base for the airships will be built in Yakutia when they become operational from 2018.
Work is already underway to create the first prototype of the Atlant airship, which will be able to carry as many as 200 passengers or 60 tonnes of cargo. ■