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Long Arm: Russia's New Corvette to Fire Cruise Missiles Thousands of Miles Away

© Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation / Go to the mediabankShips from Russia's Caspian Flotilla launching Kalibr-NK cruise missiles against Daesh targets in Syria. File photo
Ships from Russia's Caspian Flotilla launching Kalibr-NK cruise missiles against Daesh targets in Syria. File photo - Sputnik International
The Russian Navy’s first Karakurt-class missile corvette, to be floated out before the end of this summer, will bristle with an impressive array of Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles, automatic cannons, a unique anti-aircraft missile system and an advanced electronic jammer.

Though much smaller than the Buyan-M missile boats which have performed so well in Syria, the Karakurt missile ships, dubbed Uragan (Hurricane), will boast convincing firepower and will be able to operate way away from shore.

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Military experts believe that the new generation of small missile ships will allow Russia to establish a powerful naval force on the cheap.

Unlike its predecessor, the 500-ton Scorpion gunboat, the Project 22800 Karakurt corvette displaces 800 tons of water and carries an impressive arsenal of state-of-the-art artillery and missile systems, including a multipurpose launcher capable of firing Kalibr cruise missiles up to 2,500 kilometers (over 1,500 miles) and Onyx supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles.

The AK-176 automatic cannon in the ship’s forward section is digitally operated and is capable of firing up to 125 72 mm shells a minute 16 kilometers away.

The Karakut will also carry the Pantsir-M, a naval version of the Pantsir-S1 combined surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system, and the all-new Germes-K missiles with a UAV-based homing system.

The corvette can simultaneously engage four targets with as many missiles.

“The Karkurts cost much less to build than destroyers and cruisers, but their firepower capability is almost as impressive as theirs,” military expert Dmitry Boltenkov told Izvestia.

“They also take just one year to build, which means that within the next few years Russia will have a powerful group of missile-carrying ships capable of operating both in littoral zones and way away from shore,” he added.

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The Karakurt is 65 meters long and 10 meters wide. A pair of diesel-electric engines generates an impressive speed of 30 knots, which is over 60 kilometers an hour (almost 40 miles an hour).

Its operating range is around 2,500 nautical miles and sea endurance is 15 days.

The corvette also has improved seaworthy characteristics.

Seven Karakurt-class missile corvettes are currently under construction, and the Navy plans to have at least 20 such ships in the coming years.

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