Russian Navy Karakurt-class Corvette Burya (257)
Russian Navy Karakurt-class Corvette Burya (257)

Russian Navy Karakurt-class Corvette Burya (257) Undergoing Trials in Baltic Sea

The Project 22800 (NATO reporting name: Karakurt-class) Corvette Burya (257) carrying Kalibr (SS-N-27 Sizzler) cruise missiles and built by the Pella Shipyard for the Russian Baltic Fleet is undergoing shipbuilders sea trials at Baltic Fleet sea ranges. The shipbuilders sea trials are an obligatory stage to complete the construction of any ship and are designed to check the performance of its systems and mechanisms at sea and their compliance to the approved specifications, schemes, technical descriptions and operational instructions. The Burya is the second Project 22800 ship being built by the Pella Shipyard that will carry the new Pantsyr-M antiaircraft missile/gun system developed by the Instrument-Making Design Bureau as its organic weapon.

The Karakurt class, Russian designation Project 22800 Karakurt (European Black Widow), is a new class of Russian corvettes (small missile ships in Russian classification) which have been entering service with the Russian Navy since 2018. The class is intended as a more seaworthy, blue-water complement to the Buyan-M class corvettes, designed for the littoral zone and which as of 2015 serve in Russia’s Caspian Flotilla, Baltic Fleet and Black Sea Fleet. The ships are designed to be armed with Kalibr or Oniks anti-ship cruise missiles and have an endurance of 15 days. They are also to be a cheap alternative for larger Admiral Grigorovich class frigates, for which construction was delayed due to the suspended military cooperation with Ukraine.

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 Launching of Karakurt-class Corvette Burya (257) at the Pella Shipyard
Launching of Karakurt-class Corvette Burya (257) at the Pella Shipyard. (Photo Russian MoD)

Project 22800 derives from Project 12300 Skorpion, a proposed 1990s Almaz design for a 500-ton displacement missile boat, and was also heavily influenced by Project 21631, the Buyan-M corvettes. Ships of the class have a stealth shaped superstructure with an integrated mast carrying four phased array radar panels. The primary armament consists of Kalibr cruise missiles or P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship missiles carried in eight UKSK VLS cells in the rear part of the superstructure, behind the bridge. The corvettes built for the Russian Navy will be equipped with a 76.2 mm AK-176MA automatic dual-purpose gun, a modernized version of the AK-176. However, at least on the first ship, the 100 mm A-190 was installed.

The 3M-54 Kalibr, (??????, caliber), also referred to it as 3M54-1 Kalibr, 3M14 Biryuza (??????, turquoise), (NATO reporting name SS-N-27 Sizzler and SS-N-30A) is a family of Russian cruise missiles developed by the Novator Design Bureau (OKB-8). There are ship-launched, submarine-launched and air-launched versions of the missile, and variants for anti-ship, anti-submarine and land attack use. Some versions have a second propulsion stage that initiates a supersonic sprint in the terminal approach to the target, reducing the time that target’s defense systems have to react, while subsonic versions have greater range than the supersonic variants. The missile can carry a warhead weighing up to 500 kilograms (1,100 lb) of explosive or a thermonuclear warhead.

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