Surface Forces: Little Things Mean A Lot


September 29, 2016: In mid-2016 Russia ordered more Buyan-M class corvettes. The exact quantity was not given apparently because details of new features as well as uncertainty over how much cash the navy will have in 2017 (because of low oil prices and sanctions) and how many new export customers there are for Buyan-M.

Buyan class vessels were originally built as smaller (550 ton) ships and the first of these Buyans entered service in 2006. Only three were built before it was decided that the larger and more heavily armed Buyan-M was the way to go. In 2013 the first of five larger Buyans entered service (thee in the Caspian Sea and two in the Black Sea).

The larger Buyan-M was a 950 ton ship that is 74 meters (243 feet) long and has a crew of 36. Top speed is 45 kilometers an hour and endurance is ten days. Armament consists of a 100mm gun, two 14.5mm machine-guns, two AK-630 multibarrel 30mm autocannon for close range defense against missiles and aircraft. There are eight vertical launch tubes holding 1.2 ton 3K14 Kaliber anti-ship missiles (range 300 kilometers). There is also a short-range (5-6 kilometers) missile system (Gibkha 3M47) with eight missiles. There is an air/surface radar and optional sonar. The newly ordered Buyan-Ms are a little larger, at 1,047 tons but otherwise armed and equipped as the first five.

The heavily armed Buyan (or Bayan) provides you with a low-cost patrol vessel that can handle just about anything it runs into during coastal patrols and can even be useful in wartime. This is one of several new Russian designs intended for coastal patrol. At the high end there is the 2,200 ton Stereguschyy class corvettes that entered service in 2007 followed by six more.


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