Russia Launches Final Buyan-M-Class Corvette Fitted With Kalibr Cruise Missiles

Russia Launches Final Buyan-M-Class Corvette Fitted With Kalibr Cruise Missiles - Merchant Navy Info - NEWS

On June 11, the launched of the final Buyan-M Corvette “Stavropol” took place at the Zelenodolsk Shipyard based in Zelenodolsk, Tatarstan. This is the final Project 21631 / Buyan-M vessel on order for the Russian Navy.

The Stavropol is the twelfth corvette (designated locally as Малые ракетные корабли or “small rocket ship”) of the Buyan-M-class, closing a series of these low-displacement vessels armed with the Kalibr-NK missile system. According to a statement by the commander of the Russian Navy, Adm. Alexander Moiseyev, the Stavropol will join the Baltic Fleet. She will be the fifth Buyan-M in that fleet.

“The 12th ship in the series, the Stavropol, will be part of the Baltic Fleet. It will solve security problems on our western borders and, if necessary, in other areas of the World Ocean“.

The Baltic Sea is Turning Into a Nato Lake

Project 21631 Buyan-M was developed at the Zielonodolsk Design Bureau. The design is based on the Project 21630 Buyan small artillery ship. This was constructed for operations in coastal waters. These include the deltas of large rivers, lakes, and shallow sea areas. That’s why these vessels have a small draft and two pump jets instead of conventional propellers.

However, they are larger than their predecessors: displacement of 950 versus 560 tons and length of 74.1 instead of 61.8 meters. The most important difference, however, is the armament. The Buyan-M carries the Kalibr-NK missile system. Nevertheless, the dimensions allow it to pass through rivers and channels, under bridges, in locks, and other hydrotechnical constructions, which the Russians use, among other things, when transferring vessels from the south of the country to the Baltic Sea.

Around the same time, the Russians designed Project 22800 Karakurt corvettes. These are counterparts of the Buyan-M optimized for at-sea operations. Construction of the Karakurts has a higher priority and is continuing.

Production of the Buyan-M-class corvettes was prolonged as a result of sanctions by Western countries. Because four Rolls-Royce Solutions diesel engines (MTU 16V4000 M90) were originally used for propulsion. An export blockade led to the use of Chinese Henan Diesel Engine Industry Company CHD622V20 engines from the sixth ship. However, they proved unreliable, and in addition, Moscow sought independence from imports, so the last three Buyan-Ms received Russian powerplants with Kolomienskiy Zavod 16D49 engines, gearboxes manufactured by Zvezda and control systems from NPO Avrora.

The Buyan-M Corvette is well-armed

The Bujan-M are very small but heavily armed. In addition to the 100mm A-190 automatic gun, they have an eight-cell UKSK 3S14. They have a Universal ship firing system and a vertical launcher from which cruise missiles 3M14 of the 3R14 Kalibr-NK. Also, anti-ship missiles 3M55 Oniks can be fired. Moreover, it is reportedly the hypersonic 3M22 Tsirkon in the future. The Buyan-Ms, along with the Dagestan corvette of the 11661K Gepard-class. These were the first Russian surface ships to use Kalibr cruise missiles in combat conditions.

The weakness of the Buyan-M corvettes is mainly air defense. These are formed by an AK-630M-2 Duet system. They have two 30mm six-barrel Gatling guns and two 3M-47 Gibka launchers of Igla MANPADs. It was rumored that the last ships of the series were to receive the more modern Pantsir-M system.

Construction work on the Stavropol began on July 12, 2018. The ship is expected to join the Baltic Fleet by the end of this year. The previous Buyan-M – Naro-Fominsk – also joined that fleet, which took place last December.

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