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Corvette Ternopil commissioned


On February 16 2006, the Combat Standard of the Navy of Ukraine was hoisted at the corvette Ternopil that had recently been put in commission. The corvette is stationed in Sevastopol, the Crimea. Ihor KROCHAK, a historian and a former sailor, provides details.


The new corvette is an important addition to the Ukrainian Navy.

Corvette is a small, fast naval vessel ranking in size below a frigate. Originally, corvettes, displacing no more than 200 tons, were used mostly for reconnaissance and delivering dispatches. Gradually, they increased in size and in the 18th and 19th centuries corvettes were three-masted ships with square rigging similar to that of frigates and ships of the line, but they carried only about 20 guns on the top deck. Frequently serving as dispatchers among ships of a battle fleet, corvettes also escorted merchantmen. In the mid-nineteenth century, with the advent of steam, corvettes increased in size displacing of up to 3,500 tons and with over 30 guns on the top deck. They could move with a speed of 14 knots, that is about 26 kilometres an hour.

After the shift to steam power in the mid-nineteenth century, corvettes soon disappeared as a class, but during World War II the Royal Navy applied the term to small antisubmarine vessels escorting convoys in the Atlantic. Modern corvettes, generally displacing from 400 to 1,200 tons and armed with missiles, torpedoes, and machine guns, perform antisubmarine, antiaircraft, and coastal-patrol duties in the worlds small navies. They can move with a speed of up to 32 knots, that is about 57 kilometres an hour.

Recently, the NATO Navies and Ukraines Navy as well began building new, modernized versions of this class of naval vessels.

The corvette Ternopil belongs to this new class of corvettes. The Ternopil, displacing 1,100 tons, is 80 metres long: the top deck is 9 metres wide. It is armed with various weapon complexes and sophisticated devices: antiaircraft missiles; antisubmarine missiles and bombs; hydroacoustic, radar and other equipment. The Ternopil can sail at a speed of 31 knots, or 56 kilometres per hour. The crew is made of 65 sailors, 5 naval noncommissioned officers, and 20 commissioned officers. 20 men of the crew hail from Ternopil Oblast of Ukraine.

At the flag-hoisting ceremony were present the minister of defence of Ukraine Anatoly Hrytsenko, the commander of the Navy of Ukraine vice admiral Ihor Knyaz, the governor of Ternopil Oblast and other officials.

Starting from the early years of Ukraines independence, Ternopil Oblast has been contributing a lot to the development of the Ukrainian Navy and several naval vessels were named after towns of the Land of Ternopilshchyna (Kremenets; Pochayiv; Borshchiv). The corvette was the given the name of the oblast to honour the contribution the Land of Ternopil has made to the Ukrainian Navy.


Photos by the author


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