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Friday, 17 December 2010

Abramovich’s New $350 Million Megayacht Will Have Missile Defense System

Abramovich’s New $350 Million Megayacht Will Have Missile Defense System

Eclispe AbramovitchRussian billionaire Roman Abramovich’s new $355 million, 555-ft. Eclipse, designed to be the world’s biggest, will have a military-grade missile defense system to keep the oligarch safe. My colleague Deidre Woollard first reported on initial plans for the Eclipse back in January. Now further details are emerging about the megayacht (rendering above), which when completed next summer will be 25 ft. longer than Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s 530-ft. Platinum, currently ranked as the biggest yacht in the world. Secrecy surrounds the Eclipse, but sources tell the London Times that an antiballistic missile defense system is being installed by AST, a company with close ties to both the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, where the yacht is being built, and the German defense ministry.

The Eclipse is also being equipped with armor plating surrounding the bridge and Abramovich’s master suite, as well as bullet-proof windows. There’s also a submarine that can be launched underwater and dive to a depth of 160 ft. that doubles as an escape pod, as well as two helicopter pads. Civilian ships are not allowed to carry weapons and so have to limit themselves to defense systems, but Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz gets around this by having his 482-ft. yacht registered as a Royal Saudi Navy vessel, said to be equipped with French-made Exocet missiles. Pirate attacks on luxury craft are on the rise of late. Abramovich owns three other megayachts already: the 377 ft. Pelorus, the 282 ft. Ecstasea and the 160 ft. Sussurro.

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