Buyan Small Artillery Ships | Attempts to build a modern naval fleet in Russia were made even before Peter I. But there was no question of going to the open seas and a “Window on Europe” at that time.
Buyan Small Artillery Ships: Caspian Sea warriors
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – Ships had to serve in the Caspian Sea, protecting trade routes. Subsequently, after the British Empire’s penetration into Persia and the discovery of oil in the Caspian Sea, the role of its small flotilla only increased.
And at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, warships on the Caspian Sea became essential to Russia as a means of securing the state’s interests. Now it consists mainly of boats. And representatives of the larger weight category are small artillery ships of project 21630.
History of Development
By 2000 the need to equip the Caspian Flotilla with new, modern “gunboats” had become urgent. Project 21630, which also received the codename “Buyan”, was to create ships with high seaworthiness, but capable of the independent crossing of the Volga. At the same time, the new MAK (which at that stage was considered a boat) had to have reduced radar visibility.
The design bureau of the Zelenodolsk plant was engaged in the development. By the end of 2002 was ready preliminary design, which included, incidentally, reinforced weapons. The customer agreed to such changes, but also demanded to change the propulsion system and to work out the option of a waterjet propulsor.
At the same time “Buyan” was “promoted” from the boat to the ship of the 3rd rank. The first MAK of the project 21630 Buyan, named Astrakhan, was launched in autumn 2005 and in 2006 it went for tests.
Design and weapons
The project 21630 small artillery ship “Buyan” is built-in stealth technology, which is expressed in the presence of large bulwarks, low superstructures with flat surfaces. Doors, hatches, and gangways were hidden inside the superstructures and the number of portholes was reduced to a minimum.
The power plant was two four-stroke diesel engines M507D. Each was two star-type compartments with 56 cylinders connected by the main gear. According to some sources, each diesel engine develops the power of 8000 hp, while others give a figure of 10,000 hp. Two water-jet propulsion systems are put into action which is a solution never used in the Soviet and Russian Navy before.
The main caliber of the “Buyan” is a 100 mm multi-purpose gun placed in the turret also made by stealth technology. The A190 artillery unit fires high-explosive fragmentation shells against land and sea targets, and radio-fuzed shells for anti-aircraft firing.
The two anti-aircraft AK-306 assault rifles armed with the 30 mm six-barreled AO-18 guns are a modification of the famous AK-630 artillery gun, which had to be lightened to be placed on small ships. In particular, the cannon’s barrels are not rotated by the built-in gas engine, but by an external electric drive.
“Rocket artillery” on “modern gunboats” is represented by a naval modification of the Grad MLRS, which includes 40 rails for launching 122 mm rockets. Artillery fire is controlled by the “Laska” system, which includes radar for target tracking, laser rangefinder, and thermal imager. The 5P-26M radar is used as a general detection system, while the MR-231 station is used for navigation.
Anti-aircraft weapons “Buyan” is represented not only artillery. It is equipped with an automated complex “Gibka”, complete with “Strelets” modules for launching anti-aircraft missiles “Igla”. In addition, the ship is equipped with the PK-10 active defense system, which exposes thermal traps and dipole deflectors. Finally, the MAK has bollards for 14.5 mm KPV machine guns.
The History of Service
The first ship of the project “the Astrakhan” entered service in the fall of 2006, less than 3 years after it was laid. The Volgodonsk, which was laid down in early 2005, was delayed on the slipway. It was launched and handed over to the flotilla only in 2011. The third Bujan, which was named Makhachkala, still “fulfilled” the promise of the shipyard management “to hand over one ship a year,” but in 2012. but already in 2012.
Obviously, this did not happen because the Buyan was no good. The Navy command just kept demanding improvements to the design based on new and new comments. Eventually, the number of changes in the terms of reference exceeded the point where it was easier to start a new project. The successor was the project 21631 small missile ship, which retained the cipher “Buyan-M”. Well, three Buyan, built according to the original plan, continue to serve in the Caspian Flotilla.
An export modification, which received the code name “Tornado”, was also developed. It differed from the base model by the possibility of installing a variety of weapons and avionics. Only Kazakhstan showed interest in the “Tornado”, which was going to buy 6 units for its Caspian Sea Fleet. However, 10 years later the ships were not delivered, and the order was no longer mentioned.
Buyan Small Artillery Ships: Technical Specifications
Project 21630 Buyan small artillery ships are considered corvettes under the foreign classification. At the same time, in terms of displacement, they are noticeably inferior to their possible counterparts.
Project 21630 Buyan Specification:
Length: 61,8 (m)
Depth: 2.1 (m)
Displacement: 508 (tons)
Speed: 26 (knots)
Range: 1500 (miles)
Armament: 100 mm gun, 2×30 mm LAWS, 1×40 MLRS, 1×6 MANPADs
The uniqueness of “Buyanov” in many respects was predetermined by their place of service. The Caspian Sea is a unique body of water in itself. And the tasks faced by the local flotilla are different from those faced by the fleets of the open sea.
Most countries need either river patrol boats or full-fledged naval corvettes. However, it should be noted that the designers of the Project 21630 MAK have managed to provide it with significant artillery firepower, even allowing it to cover landings.
This is confirmed by the fact that MSC Buyan-M, built under the modernized project, are serving not only in the Caspian Sea but also in the Baltic and the Black Sea. At the same time, even the Caspian MIRVs were capable of carrying out missile strikes against Syria. Such a result would not have been possible if the initial project had failed.