Surface Forces: Russian High Seas Corvettes

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April 3, 2017: Russia has ordered 18 Karakurt (Project 22800) ships and six are already under construction in three shipyards. This is a new class of coastal corvette that is more capable on the open seas. Some of them are being built in the Crimean shipyards Russia acquired in 2014 when they basically took Crimea from Ukraine. Russia has been building a lot more small corvettes since the 1990s for a number of reasons. First, the Russian ship yards have proved more effective building these small (under 1,000 tons) ships. Then there is the great need for heavily armed corvettes to serve as a low-cost patrol vessel that can handle just about anything it runs into during coastal patrols and can even be useful in wartime. Finally, there is a growing export market for this type of ship.

The Karakurts are 800 ton ships that are 65 meters (213 feet) long and have a top speed of 56 kilometers an hour. They are armed with one 76mm cannon, eight launch tubes holding 1.2 ton 3K14 Kalibr anti-ship missiles (range 300 kilometers), two 14.5mm machine-guns, , two AK-630 multibarrel 30mm autocannon for close range defense against missiles and aircraft, 32 57E6 anti-aircraft missiles (range 20 kilometers). The crew of 30 can stay at sea for 15 days at a time before needing to refuel and resupply. The first one is to enter service in 2018.

 

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