The Buyan-M-class corvette (project 21631) “Graivoron” was commissioned with the Russian Navy Black Sea fleet on 30 January 2021. Graivoron is the ninth ship of the project 21631 / Buyan-M-class corvette (small artillery and missile ships in Russian classification). It was built at the “Zelenodolsk Plant named after AM Gorky “. The ship was laid down back in 2015, and got its name in honor of a city in the Belgorod region. It joined the 41st brigade of missile boats of the Black Sea Fleet, which already includes the Vyshny Volochek, Orekhovo-Zuevo and Ingushetia built as part of the same contract and commissioned between 2018 and 2019.
Graivoron is armed with the land attack cruise missile “Kalibr-NK”, 100 mm A-190-01 main gun, 2× 30mm AK-630-M2 CIWS, Pantsir-M CIWS (Stavropol), 2× 4 Komar surface-to-air missiles, DP-65 anti-saboteur grenade launcher, 2× 14.5 mm KPV type. 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.
The Project 21631 Buyan-M, are series of corvettes 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 3S14 vertical launching system for either Kalibr or Oniks anti-ship cruise missiles, significantly enhancing combat capabilities. The ships are primarily designed for operations within littoral zones to protect Russia’s vast coastal areas. 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.