21631 Buyan-M Corvette
Malyy Artilleryysky Korabl' (Small Artillery Ship)
Project 21631 (“Buyan-M”) are multipurpose ships of the “river-sea” class, with the main weapon “Kalibr-NK” universal missile system. Buyan-M" (‘Brawler’) was created to replace small missile ships of Project 1234 "Ovod", various modifications of which were issued from 1967 to 1992. 47 ships were built, 12 remained in the ranks. Buyan corvettes, which have the appearance of coastal ships, have demonstrated their strategic value by achieving precision strikes over long distances, in addition to be built with a stealth design that makes them very difficult to detect.
The military appreciated the project 21630 and wanted to upgrade it to a small missile ship (RTO). The fact is that so far the bulk of RTOs as part of the Russian Navy is represented by two projects 1234, 1234.1 and RTOs on the air cushion of Project 1239. Some of them are still in service, but the ships are getting old, and the weapons are getting old on them. Meanwhile, the Caspian Sea has become a major area in modern geopolitics. The fleet wanted to have 5 RTOs built on the Buyanov base in the Caspian Sea. The famous now-known Buyan-M, RTO project 21631 was born. The project was born quickly, because the designers didn’t bother much and made the most of the basic project. IAC was increased, a 3S14 launcher for missiles was added, the A-215 Grad-M MLRS and 2 AK-630 were removed. Instead, they installed a twin 30-mm six-barreled AK-630M2 Duet installation and another Flexka. For the Caspian flotilla, the “City of Sviyazhsk”, “Velikiy Ustyug” and “Uglich” were built. Subsequently, politics intervened in the plans of the fleet. The year 2014 was also the Crimean spring, which ended with the entry of Crimea into the Russian Federation, the war in the Donbass and sanctions. The Black Sea has become the “hottest” of all water bodies washing Russia. Syria, Russia's only ally in the Mediterranean, asked for help, the Mediterranean squadron was revived as a permanent operational unit of the Russian Navy (the 5th operational squadron in Soviet times). "Buran-M" has thundered all over the world. In October 2015 two small Buyan corvettes, Veliky Ustyug and City of Sviyazhsk launched Kalibre missiles at targets in Syria, in the Raqqah and Aleppo regions from the Caspian Sea, more than 1,500 km away. In 2016 two vessels of the same class, Serpukhov and Zelenyy Dol assigned to the Mediterranean Sea and targeted many positions in Syria.
The Buyan-M is a river-sea ship, and can confidently operated at the mouth of the Volga and in the Caspian Sea. For his low seaworthiness, even the Black Sea is "too big". As for the "Karakurt", it was designed as a ship for open sea theaters. Another shortcoming was revealed in connection with the imposition of sanctions against Russia, the German company MTU Friedrichshafen refused to supply engines for the Buyan-M. However, soon the replacement was found - the Zelenodolsk shipbuilders began to acquire similar 16-cylinder engines at the Kolomna plant and the Zvezda plant in St. Petersburg.
The Project 21631 Buyan-M corvettes have a displacement of 949 tons and maximum speed of 25 knots. These ships are a derivative of the earlier Project 21630. They are armed with an eight-round launcher for 3M54 Kaliber (SS-N-27) anti-ship cruise missiles, Igla 1M anti-aircraft missiles, a 100-mm main gun and two 30-mm air-defense guns and is equipped with electronic countermeasures equipment. It has a range of 1,500 miles and an endurance of 10 days.
The Buyan-class is optimized for anti-surface warfare. Defense officials say the ships’ main purpose is to protect Russia’s offshore economic zones and engage enemy warships along littoral areas. Having relatively small displacement and high speed, Grachonok class boats are designed for protection of naval installations in littoral zones against sabotage and terrorist attacks, as well as for assistance to Russian Coast Guard in border defense activities.
The Zelenodolsk shipyard in Russia's republic of Tatarstan began construction of a fifth Project 21631 Buyan-class missile corvette for the Navy on 25 January 2013. The corvette will be named Serpukhov. The lead ship of this project, the Grad Sviyazhsk, was laid down in August 2010; the second, the Uglich, in July 2011; the third, the Veliky Ustyug, in August 2011; and the fourth, the Zelyony Dol, in August 2012.
Navy commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said 26 February 2014 "The navy is expecting the Veliky Ustyug corvette this year and two more warships of the same class in 2015". Russia’s two newest missile corvettes, the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Uglich, successfully completede navy sea trials and would be assigned to the Caspian flotilla by July, a spokesman for the Southern Military District said 30 April 2014. “The two ships are due to join the Russian navy at the end of the first half of 2014. Most likely, they will be assigned to the Caspian flotilla by July 1,” the spokesman said. He added the pair will be the first Buyan-M-class corvettes to join the Caspian flotilla. The Navy is expecting the Veliky Ustyug corvette by late 2014 and six more warships of the same class by 2020, Anatoly Shlemov, head of the state defense contracts department at the United Shipbuilding Corporation, said. The Defense Ministry has ordered a total of nine Project 21631 (Buyan-M) corvettes for the navy, with at least six vessels to be assigned to the Caspian Flotilla.
At the beginning of October 2014 naval strike group of the Red Banner Caspian flotilla as part of the missile ship "Dagestan" and small missile "Svijazhsk" went on combat duty in the Caspian Sea. The main purpose of the output is the maintenance of a favorable regime in the region, as well as protecting the interests of the Russian Federation. Finding a group of ships at sea allows you to strike any strategic facilities of the Caspian states, as well as to destroy surface ships virtually anywhere in the Caspian Sea.
The fact that the missile ship "Dagestan" was the first ship of the Russian Navy armed newest missile complex "Caliber-NK" designed for missile strikes against naval targets at distances up to 350 km and 2600 km shore! Having missiles armed with a range of Red Banner Caspian Flotilla becomes operational naval strategic association type. This makes it possible to adopt to solve problems outside the area of responsibility while interacting with other species and genera of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The complex "Caliber" traces its history since the 1980s, but for all the time and has not been put in service with the Russian Navy, and only in the mid-2000s, developers have continued to improve for the missile complex.
The first launch of the missile complex "Caliber-NK" was held on board the Republic of Kazakhstan "Dagestan" in spring 2012. As part of the strategic command-staff exercises "Caucasus-2012" in September 2012. "Dagestan" re-launched cruise missiles spent hitting the shore goal. After firing the complex was finally adopted by the Russian Navy.
Ten Buyan-M class missile corvettes armed with Kalibr cruise missiles will join the Russian Navy by the end of 2019, Navy Deputy Commander Rear Adm. Viktor Bursuk said 23 October 2015. The Navy previously said that it planned to receive six such warships. "By the end of 2019, the entire series of these ships will be built, which is about 10," Bursuk said, speaking on the Rossiya-24 television channel.
Buyan-M is a 950-ton displacement ship that is 74 meters (243 feet) long with a top speed of 45 kph (28 mph). Among other armament elements, the vessel has eight vertical launch tubes holding 3K14 Kalibr or older missiles models. The ship can carry the Kalibr missiles that were used by Russia against Islamic State militants earlier this month.
Zelenodolsk’s Shpyard annual activity report, which manufactures this type of corvette, stated "Interest in the shipments of the project 21632 in various modifications is showed Inozakazchiki 818, 795". Clients 818 and 795 which are Egypt and Turkmenistan. The footnote further states that the interest relates to a modified version of the corvette. In the case of an Egyptian acquisition, the latter will have the option of equipping it with Klub M or Yakhont missiles in order to comply with the MTCR range limiting regime. This gives Egypt, which has 3000 Km of sea front, an impressive striking capacity in depth of up to 300 km.
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