The Russia’s Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy will be reinforced with the new guided-missile corvette Graivoron Buyan-M class of project 21631. The crew of the Graivoron completed the first stage of training in the Russian Navy center. All the work is to be completed by the end of 2020 and the corvette will join the Black Sea fleet. Corvettes of project 21631 operate in the Caspian flotilla, the Baltic and the Black Sea fleets. The ships are primarily designed for operations within littoral zones to protect Russia’s vast coastal areas. The Graivoron is the ninth warship of the project. However, the sources said the handover to the fleet may take place in 2021.
The Buyan class, Russian designations Project 21630 Buyan and Project 21631 Buyan-M, are series of corvettes (small artillery and missile ships in Russian classification) developed by Zelenodolsk Design Bureau for the Russian Navy. Since 2010, all subsequent vessels are being constructed as improved Project 21631 subclass, incorporating greater tonnage, stealth technology and the 3S-14 vertical launching system for either Kalibr or Oniks anti-ship cruise missiles, significantly enhancing combat capabilities.Due to the small tonnage, they can operate even within shallow parts of oceans and seas and Russia’s river system. The export variant is known as Project 21632 Tornado.
The Project 21631 ships are armed with the nuclear-capable Kalibr cruise missiles (SS-N-27 Sizzler) with a claimed range of at least 1,500 km and electronic countermeasure equipment. Ships of Project 21631 are designed to defend the national economic zones of Russia. The ships’ small size and displacement enable them to operate within inland river systems, including traversing the Moscow Canal which allows them to deploy to various seas around European Russia. This is a particular advantage for the Buyan-M series, because while the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) prohibits long-range cruise missiles from operating on land they can operate from ships, so a river-based corvette can deploy missiles without being subject to restrictions.