Russian fleet under attack by Ukraine’s unmanned drone boats.
Russia says it destroyed three Ukrainian remote-controlled unmanned boats during an attempted attack on two Russian navy ships in the Black Sea.
The Ministry of Defense said that the incident took place 340 kilometers southwest of Sevastopol in Crimea in the early hours of Tuesday.
The ministry released the following statement: “Three Ukrainian drones were destroyed during the night in the Black Sea by two Russian Navy patrol ships, Sergei Kotov and Vasily Bykov.”
A Ukrainian naval drone was also reportedly used in the attack two weeks ago on the bridge connecting Russian-held Crimea.
These “unmanned surface vessels” (also known as “uncrewed surface vessels,” or USVs for short) are altering the essence of contemporary warfare alongside flying drones.
The Maritime Executive reports that Ukraine started using USVs for military purposes last year.
In the port of Sevastopol in September of that year, Ukraine employed multiple bomb-carrying USVs in addition to aerial drones.
Several Russian ships were damaged in the attack, and the USVs were able to penetrate the port’s defenses.
The deployment of USVs provides a lot of benefits over the conventional unmanned fleet, which is appealing to navies. The navies of many nations have begun experimenting with developing USVs in recent years.
The website said the US has now invested heavily in building medium, large, and large “unmanned ships” as part of its strategic military plan.
According to its data, by 2052, more than half of the ships in the US Navy fleet are expected to be unmanned and remotely controlled.
Other nations’ fleets are not lagging behind. Other nations, including Singapore, Australia, Britain, China, South Korea, and Japan, are also creating unmanned and autonomous USVs.
The urge to obtain USVs or comparable technologies, according to the news website iNews, raises the possibility of a worldwide arms race.
They say there have been at least six attacks on Russian naval and other targets in and around the Black Sea since October last year using remote-controlled Ukrainian boat drones. And jet ski engines were used to make these drones.
If remote-controlled drone boats can hit their targets at the push of a button, and if added with artificial intelligence or AI, they will be able to identify and target military targets without human supervision.
Vice-Admiral Roy Kitchener, commander of US Naval Surface Forces, commented in December 2022 that the deployment of USVs to the Pacific Fleet would act as a “catalyst” and increase “our warfighting advantage” against adversaries.
What is a drone boat?
According to Wikipedia, USVs are also called drone boats or drone ships.
These are a form of boat or ship that can navigate the water without any assistance from people.
Some USVs function underwater as well. Remote controls are used to operate them.
Some USVs are entirely “autonomous,” or self-contained. These are referred to as SSVs, or “Autonomous Surface Vehicles”.
However, the usage of USVs began in the latter stages of World War II, but not for attacking. The advantages of using USVs are that there is no risk of soldiers dying when they are used during military engagements.
Compared to the larger ships of the Navy, they cost less to build.
There are several uses for it in daily life as well. USVs can be used, for instance, to monitor important infrastructure for national security, commercial shipping, environmental and climatic monitoring, seabed mapping, passenger crossings, and bridges.