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Ukraine commissions Gurza-M riverine patrol craft Bucha

Bucha has been assigned to the river flotilla based on the Dnipro river in Kiev region. (Ministry of Defence, Ukraine)

Ukraine has commissioned its eighth Gurza-M (Viper-M) missile-armed riverine patrol boat into service.

The new boat, named Bucha (P 181), has been assigned to the river flotilla based on the Dnipro river in Kiev region, which was established in 2022.

Bucha started construction at Kuznia na Rybalskomu (previously Leninska Kuznia) shipyard in Kiev in 2019 and was launched on 30 September 2021. Following the completion of its factory and state trials earlier in 2023, the boat was commissioned into service on 26 May, according to Ukraine Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) press service Armyinform .

Bucha forms part of a series of up to 20 planned Gurza-M patrol boats that started entering service from 2016 for deployment in the Danube River Basin and in the coastal zone of the Black and Azov seas.

Designed by Ukraine's State Research and Design Shipbuilding Centre, the Gurza-M class has a full load displacement of 54 tonnes, an overall length of 23 m, a beam of 4.8 m, and a draught of 1 m. The vessels are powered by two Caterpillar 3406E diesel engines providing a top speed of 25 kt and a range of 900 n miles at 12 kt, and carry a crew complement of five.

The vessels are armed with two Katran-M (BM-5M.01) remote-controlled weapon stations, each fitted with a 30 mm ZTM-1 automatic gun, a co-axial 30 mm KBA-117 grenade launcher, a 7.62 m machine gun, and laser-guided missiles.

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