Source: ForPost, Sevastopol tabloid, November 06, 2022, in Russian. – By the way, local events cannot be hidden from the local population, so you will always find interesting information in the local press that is not broadcast further.
Special military operation sets new task for Black Sea Fleet
These ambitions can be supported by the United States and especially Great Britain, whose drones have already been used for attacks in the waters of Sevastopol. What are the risks of such projects for Russia? And what could the Russian Black Sea Fleet do against it?
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has announced the launch of a fundraising platform for the creation of a Ukrainian fleet of naval drones. In a video message posted on Telegram, he said that the Ukrainian authorities would open a new “fundraising direction” which should “accumulate funds for the fleet of marine drones”. “Absolutely everyone understands what it is and what it’s for,” Zelensky said. – How it works – everyone has already seen it.
Apparently, Zelensky is referring to the terrorist drone raid on Sevastopol Bay that took place in October. According to the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozzhayev, the AFU tried to strike the military installations of the Black Sea Fleet. He called the incident the most massive attack by drones and unmanned surface vehicles in special operations history.
Then the Russian Defense Ministry clarified that the attack involved nine unmanned aerial vehicles and seven autonomous naval drones. As a result, the minesweeper Ivan Golubets was slightly damaged, as well as the containment boom in Yuzhnaya Bay.
The raid was repelled through the use of naval weapons and naval aviation from the Black Sea Fleet. As a result, four naval vehicles were destroyed and three others were hit on the inner roadstead. Navy signalman Artem Zhiltsov, who was the first to notice the approaching vehicles and reported it to the watch officer, played a big role in repelling the attack, resulting in repelling attack in time. Zhiltsov received the state prize.
According to information from the Ministry of Defense, the preparation for the attack and the training of the servicemen of the 73rd Ukrainian special maritime operations center were carried out under the guidance of British specialists, located in the town of Ochakov in the region of Mykolaiv in Ukraine. Additionally, representatives of this British Navy unit appear to have been involved in planning, supplying and executing the terrorist act in the Baltic Sea on September 26 to undermine the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.
On October 29, British Ambassador to Moscow Deborah Bronnett received evidence of London’s connection to the attack on the Black Sea Fleet base. However, the British Ministry of Defense refused to acknowledge the involvement of the country’s navy in the attacks on “North Streams” and Sevastopol.
In response to the unmanned attack, Russia announced that it was suspending its participation in the “grains agreement” and informed UN Secretary General António Guterres. However, Moscow quickly moved to resume the deal after receiving written assurances from Kyiv that such attacks would be avoided in the future.
Also on the day of the raid on Sevastopol Bay, Ukrainian images showing unmanned vehicles appeared on the web. Alexei Rogozin, former deputy director of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Property Relations Department (DIO) and now head of the Transport Technology Development Center, identified them as the same “unknown low-visibility unmanned boat” that was spotted in the Black Sea in September. .
“I hope that the Russian designers have already dismantled it, methods of countermeasures are being developed. Radar may not be enough to detect such vehicles – acoustic control and visual control of the area of u200bu200b water from the drone are needed,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.
“I don’t know which military products are affected, but such solutions are available today in civilian versions from Russian private manufacturers. Obviously, the subject of combating drones now also concerns marine vehicles, and private companies should be actively involved in its implementation”, Rogozin is sure. In turn, the Telegram channel “Rybar” points out that the actions of drones in the Bay of Sevastopol were corrected by the American strategic drone RQ-4B from the Sigonella airbase in Sicily.
Experts interviewed by the VZGLYAD newspaper agreed that such attacks will be repeated whether or not Zelensky creates a Ukrainian fleet of naval drones. And with the enemy’s active use of unmanned maritime vehicles, the Black Sea Fleet will have to be upgraded and modernized.
“The use of drones has already become a real danger for us. The breakthrough of unmanned boats (BEC) in the inner bays of Sevastopol and their visual detection puts several issues on the agenda at once,” said reserve captain of the third rank Maxim Klimov in a conversation with the VZGLYAD newspaper.
“First of all, we need to pay more attention to the combat readiness of our ships. Here the Pantsir-M complexes are very effective in simple weather conditions. They “see” targets well in the layer of training, but their disadvantage is their strong meteorological dependence”, suggests the expert.
“It is also obvious that for the warring Black Sea Fleet it is extremely timely to move from the Baltic Fleet the first small missile ship of project 22800 “Odintsovo” with the “Pantsir-M2” complex. This must be done before the inland waterways freeze over,” Klimov continued.
“In addition, helicopters are very effective against UAVs and BECs. However, the Ka-27Ms of the Navy have a narrow anti-submarine specialization. And in this case, their modernization is necessary, also to ensure detection qualitative and the defeat of targets”, – the interlocutor is sure.
“It should be noted that the new radars of our Ka-27 and Mi-14 helicopters showed high efficiency in the work against drones and small objects on the surface of the water,” Klimov stressed. – We therefore have sufficient technical capabilities to ward off these threats. The issue is that they must be presented to the Navy in a timely manner.
In turn, drone expert Denis Fedutinov points out that the Navy will have the cheapest unmanned boats. “In general, there are several types of such boats for different tasks. Firstly, there is surveillance. One can refer to it the 4M Hydra series from the Emirati company Al Seer Marine Technologies. Secondly, the protection of objects. As a ‘illustration, I will mention the Seagull boat from the Israeli company Elbit equipped with a machine gun. Thirdly, it is mine countermeasures. Such functions are implemented on the Inspector Mk 2 from the French company ECA Group or the American CUSV of the company Textron”, – explains the interlocutor.
“The Ukrainians, judging by all appearances, will try to implement on the basis of modern technology the idea of a brander – a cheap boat stuffed with explosives. For this purpose, the technologies available on the commercial market, applicable in unmanned aviation – communication systems, navigation systems, optoelectronic monitoring and guidance systems – can be used”, suggests the expert.
“It would not be difficult to counter such boats, unless, of course, it was a simultaneous attack by a large group of MEK. Even the minimal armament of combat ships not only from the navy but also FSB coast guard can repel the attack.At the same time, the key to the effectiveness of countermeasures is to maintain the constant readiness of the forces and means available so that the enemy can use various means to attack both from the air and from the ground and water,” Fedutinov pointed out.
“We have already faced a drone attack in Sevastopol. And as practice has shown, the activities of Sailor Zhiltsov helped us a lot. Technique is one thing, but sometimes the human eye is much more important in such situations,” Captain First Rank Vasily Dandykin told VZGLYAD.
Nevertheless, as experts point out, the Russian Black Sea Fleet needs and above all systems capable of detecting the approach of such drones tens of kilometers in advance. “Furthermore, I am sure these drones have been raised and are now being studied by our military. I do not rule out that they are all British or Canadian powered. This conflict is about the first military engagement where forces air and naval drones have been used so much. We are learning as we go, ”continued the interlocutor.
He also noted that there was nothing surprising about it. “The peculiarity of such devices is that a person can control them remotely. In Ukraine, such a center is located in Ochakov, it was built by the British,” he explained.
“Having said that, I have no doubt that the Navy will get the drones needed for the attacks. Most likely, the source of their origin will be Britain. Therefore, we need to be ready now that attacks similar to that of Sevastopol will repeat from time to time, ”admits the expert.
Dandykin also notes that Russia has ways to combat drones. “To repel aerial drone attacks, we use air defense, portable air defense systems and manned aviation. To counter underwater vehicles, there are ships equipped with acoustic means. If we talk about drones of surface, we have a location to detect them, and large caliber machine guns or small anti-aircraft artillery can be used to destroy them,” he listed.
“The enemy’s plan seems to be to hit the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. But I am sure that our navy will take the necessary measures to destroy these vehicles. And Zelensky’s statements about creating a super army of drones, which will be able to destroy almost the entire Black Sea Fleet, will come out of the cornucopia. This is also beneficial for the Western sponsors of the conflict, ”concluded Dandykin.