With the combined attack of a larger squadron of floating and flying drones, the Ukrainian military apparently managed a spectacular strike against Putin’s Black Sea fleet on the annexed Crimean peninsula. Military experts are now even talking about a new war era.
For Ukraine, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is considered a very important strategic goal, as it makes a key contribution to protecting the illegally annexed areas of the Crimean Peninsula. On October 29, the Ukrainian Navy seems to have taken an important step in this direction.
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Meanwhile, Russia has confirmed that not only eight flying drones, but also seven floating drones attacked Russian warships in the port of Sevastopol on Saturday morning. According to Western military experts, the Russian frigate “Admiral Makarov” was also damaged. After the sinking of the “Moskva” in April, she was considered the flagship of the Russian Navy.
What is remarkable, however, is less the targets of the Ukrainians than the weapons with which the attack was carried out. According to American weapons experts from the US industry portal “Navelnews”, it is the first time in military history that more than a dozen unmanned drones have carried out a kamikaze attack of this type.
While the Russian Ministry of Defense classified the damage to its fleet as “minor” and limited it to a single ship, US experts believe the attacks were significantly more significant. According to the devastating verdict of the experts, Putin’s military now lacks “basic skills” such as securing their own ports and correctly assessing their opponents.
According to US experts, the Ukrainian armed forces used the means at their disposal skilfully to optimize the timing of the “asymmetric operation” with this hitherto unfamiliar type of naval warfare. In addition, after the sinking of the “Makarov” with the combined drone attack, Ukraine again managed to raise the threat to a high symbolic level by attacking Russian ships at their main base in Sevastopol in occupied Crimea.
In contrast, from the Russian point of view, it seems completely unacceptable that the drones could not be detected before they posed a threat. After all, Russia has been at war for nine months and should therefore be able to protect key bases and facilities. In addition, the waterway of the floating kamikaze drones is long enough to be able to discover and attack the boat before it attacks itself.
Footage of the attacks, which the Ukrainian army obviously had taken from on board the drones, suggests that the Russian units (probably helicopters) tried to attack at least one swimming drone but failed, such a small and fast boat hit with classic weapons. In this case, spotting the boat early and fighting it with smart munitions or missiles seems imperative.
The experts’ conclusion: In future conflicts, operations for ships that are not equipped with effective protection and survival systems would become even more difficult. Swarms of drones would be a major problem even for large combat ships.
Also the US Naval Institute (USNI) had previously dealt with the drones because a similar boat had washed up on a nearby beach in September.
According to the USNI, there is probably no military precision work behind the floating drones – rather, the drones were assembled from commercially available parts from jet boats and water scooters and loaded with explosives. The components can be easily ordered from a Canadian manufacturer.