24 July 2023






2 mins

A rare former Soviet Union built craft was seen in Malta back to 5th April, 1999 as the Ukrainian Flag TORNADO.

More than 600 craft of Project 376 were built for the Soviet navy as well as civilian users starting in 1955 and are in use up to this day on the rivers and harbors for Russia. Diving boats of this project served on all fleets of the USSR and later – the Russian Federation.

The boat in question is of the Project RV376U built at Yaroslavl Shipyard, Sosnovka Shipyard. She was commissioned in 1972 as the VRD 249 and from 31st December 1977 she was renamed as RVK 249.

Upon completion of customs, since that times either you anchor somewhere safe and lower your dinghy so personnel can go individually to Customs with all necessary documents for pratique or berth at Black Pearl breakwater, Msida like TORNADO did , she shifted to Manoel Island Yacht Yard (MIYY) buoys and moored at Sliema Creek as per above image.

General characteristics – Project 376

Displacement (tons):
Standard: Project R376U – 28,3 ts.
Full load: Project RV376U – 38,2 ts.


Length: 21 m.
Beam: 3,98 m.
Draft: 1,27 m.
Speed : Project RV376U– 10,4 knots.
Range: Project RV376U – 700 nm with 9 knots
Autonomy (days): 5
Propulsion: 1×150 hp, diesel 3D6S , 1 fixed pitch propeller
Armament: 1×2 25 mm 2M-3M
1×2 14,5 mm 2M-7
1×7 55 mm grenade launcher MRG-1
contact sweep MT-3 or magnetic sweep SEMT-1 and acoustic sweep BAT-2,  IT-1 mine searcher
Electronics: navigation radar Donets-2 (PSKA-69), navigational radar Liman (PSKA-326, 321, 336)
Capacity (tons): 15 (Project R376U) or 12 passengers
Complement: 13 (4 warrant officers)


Harbor boat - Project 376

On 8th December 1997 she was decommissioned and acquired by civilian interests.

And later that year she was given cosmetics to her hull as seen in image.

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