Abandoned River Rockets Of The Soviet Space Age

Raketa was the first type of hydrofoil boats commercially produced in the Soviet Union. They were manufactured from 1957 until the early 1970s.

Image credit : baseguru

The chief designer was Rostislav Alexeyev and the project 340 vessels had been planned already in the late 1940s.

Image credit : baseguru

These “river rockets” are located near the closed town of Zaozyorsk in Murmansk Oblast, a shipyard which was built back in 1958 as a northern base for Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet.

Image credit : baseguru

Raketa boats were soon in wide commercial service on the Volga River and elsewhere in the Soviet Union.


The first model, Raketa-1, was built by Krasnoye Sormovo shipbuilding plant in Sormovo, Nizhny Novgorod.

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On its maiden voyage, on 25 August 1957, it carried 30 passengers from Nizhny Novgorod to Kazan (420 km) in seven hours.

Image credit : baseguru

To this day, the name is often used generically in Russian for all hydrofoil river boats. Later designs include the Meteor and Kometa types, among many others.


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