Buyan-class corvette to debut in Russian Navy victory parade of 9 May 2020

A Buyan-class corvette of project 21630 will debut at the main Navy parade in the summer of 2020. The warship of the Caspian flotilla is identical to Buyan-M-class project 21631 but carries no missiles. Experts said the navigation from the Caspian to the Baltic Sea will be a major test for the warship. In future, such sorties will quickly create missile groups in strategic directions, the Izvestia daily writes.

Buyan class corvette to debut in Russian Navy victory parade of 9 May 2020

Volgodonsk, a Buyan-class corvette of project 21630. The Caspian flotilla operates three corvettes of this class: the Astrakhan, the Volgodonsk and the Makhachkala (Picture source: Russian MoD)

One or two warships will sail from the Caspian Sea to the Navy parade in St. Petersburg. Defense Ministry sources said a decision in principle had been made, however, the exact number of warships and the route would be approved later. The Caspian flotilla operates three corvettes of the Buyan class: the Astrakhan, the Volgodonsk and the Makhachkala. They can sail by sea or river. In the former case, they have to sail on the Volga River to the Sea of Azov through the Volga-Don canal. The second route goes through internal Russian waters.

To sail from Astrakhan to St. Petersburg, the ships have to sail on the Volga, the Rybinsk water reservoir, Lakes Ladoga and Onega.

The internal route is most likely, as it takes less time, former Navy Chief-of-Staff Admiral Valentin Selivanov believes. "First-line warships are chosen for parades. Their crews can fulfil any mission and participate in drills. For example, they train repelling attacks in the daytime and at night and study navigation in new areas," he said.

Expert Vladimir Anokhin said it is necessary to study logistics and transport possibilities on the way to the Baltic Sea. "Some gates on the way are worn-out. It is necessary to check all the weak points and create conditions for a fast redeployment. It is like holding maneuvers," he said.

It is all quiet in the Caspian Sea, but NATO warships operate in the Baltic Sea. The redeployment can be difficult, but vital. It will help Russia reinforce the troops in the direction, if necessary, Anokhin said.

The West attentively follows such sorties. In 2016, the voyage of the Serpukhov and the Zeleny Dol of project 21631 around Europe triggered much ado, as European nations did not expect Kalibr missile carriers at their shores. Project 21630 warships were delivered to the Caspian flotilla, as they excellently operate in coastal waters, rivers and lakes. The design and a small size help them hide in river and lake banks and covertly approach the adversary. Project 21630 ships have artillery guns to ensure success in a clash. The main weapon is 100mm gun A-190 with a maximum rate of fire of 80 shots per minute to a distance of 20 km, the Izvestia said.

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