Russian Navy's Caspian Flotilla (CF) will receive new Project 21631 corvettes in May 2013, CF Commander Rear Admiral Sergei Alyokminsky said last weekend.
"New ships will arrive at the flotilla in May. It is Project 21631 corvettes based on the Project 630 gunnery ships but reinforced with Caliber missile system. We'll receive two ships of this kind every year", Alyokminsky told the Echo Moskvy Radio, adding that Caspian Flotilla would have a substantial missile/gun ship force by 2016, reports RIA Novosti.
It was earlier reported about construction of four Project 21631 corvettes at JSC Zelenodolsk Shipyard (Tatarstan, Russia). Lead ship of the series, Grad Sviyazhsk was laid down late in the summer of 2010. Keels of the other two ships, Uglich and Veliky Ustyug were laid down in the summer of 2011. Construction of the fourth corvette, Zeliony Dol started in the summer of 2012.
The fifth ship is expected to be keel-laid as well. That corvette can be named Hero City Volgograd in honor of 70-th anniversary of the Stalingrad Battle. The CF Commander is going to address to Southern Military District Commander and Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief with appropriate request.
Displacement of a Project 21631 corvette is 949 tons; full speed is 25 knots; fuel range at 12 knots is 2,500 nautical miles; crew is 52 men. It is a multirole 'river-sea' class ships designed for protection of Russia's economic zone. Comparing to Project 21630 gunnery ships, these corvettes are twice larger and equipped with missile weapons.
Probably, CF warships would pay an unofficial visit to Iran in 2013, reports the Echo Moskvy Radio.
The flotilla's commander explained that intention by an interest to Iranian Navy's development.
The latest visit of Soviet naval ships to Iran was held 40 years ago.