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MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Caspian Flotilla will this year be boosted by two rapid attack missile craft and a number of other auxiliary vessels, the Southern Military District said on Thursday.
The new craft are part of a broader strategy to increase the size and capability of the Flotilla in what defense analysts see as a reaction to potential instability in Caspian Sea neighbour Iran.
“The Uglich and Grad Sviyazhsk missile corvettes, a Grachonok class high-speed special purpose boat, several Serna class landing craft, and three tugboats will 21631 join the Caspian Flotilla,” the strategic command’s press service said in a statement.
The Project corvettes have a displacement of 949 tons and maximum speed of 25 knots.
They are armed with Kalibr (SS-N-27) anti-ship missiles, 100-mm and 30-mm guns, as well as Igla-1M air defense systems.
Defense officials say the ships’ main purpose is to protect Russia’s offshore economic zones and engage enemy warships along littoral areas.
Having relatively small displacement and high speed, Grachonok class boats are designed for protection of naval installations in littoral zones against sabotage and terrorist attacks, as well as for assistance to Russian Coast Guard in border defense activities.
The Serna class landing craft is 25.8 meters long and displaces 61 tons. It can carry either one tank or two infantry fighting vehicles (or armored personnel carriers), or a 92-men landing party.
The Caspian flotilla already has several Serna class vessels, the Navy confirmed earlier, without giving a specific figure.
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