Mysterious find on the coast of Sevastopol in Crimea: According to Russian authorities, a small black boat with cameras and sensors ran ashore near an army base. Pictures of the boat are currently circulating on Twitter. Among them the question: Is this Ukraine’s new secret weapon?
According to the photos, it is a small, narrow boat with a shallow draft and a small water jet propulsion system. Cameras are mounted on top of the boat and on the bow. Two sensors can also be seen at the front of the boat. The small box at the rear could be an internet antenna.
According to the “thedrive” portal, it could be a drone boat used by the Ukrainian army for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It is known that people are also observed from the water. The small speedboat is also difficult to detect by radar systems, reports the “navalnews” website. It is not clear from the pictures whether the boat is armed. The interior of the boat is not visible in any of the published photos.
A suspicion: The boats could be part of the US deliveries of “unmanned coastal defense ships” that were handed over to Ukraine back in April. At a press briefing at the end of August, however, the Pentagon kept a low profile on the use of the boats in the Ukraine war. Brigadier General Pat Ryder said he would not give any details.
However, contact detonators could also be installed in the boat, which trigger an explosion if they come into contact with a ship. Boats filled with explosives could be an important tool for the Ukrainian army in its fight against Russian warships – especially in areas where ground-based missile systems can no longer penetrate.
The circumstances of the boat find off Sevastopol are still unclear. On Wednesday, the city’s Russian governor said part of the boat had been towed back out to sea and wrecked. According to local media, part of the vehicle is said to have been “examined by experts”, the governor is quoted as saying.
Such explosive boats are not new to military use: the Houthi rebels supported by Iran are said to have recently operated drone boats in the Red Sea.