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Mysterious floating drone washed ashore – this is how Ukraine is chasing the Russian Navy

At the end of September, a mysterious unmanned boat washed ashore not far from the seaport of Sevastopol on the Black Sea.

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Mysterious floating drone washed ashore – this is how Ukraine is chasing the Russian Navy

At the end of September, a mysterious unmanned boat washed ashore not far from the seaport of Sevastopol on the Black Sea. Painted black, fitted with video cameras and sensors and a flat antenna on top. It may have been used to contact Elon Musk's Starlink Internet satellite network. The boat did not have the usual outboard motor with a water propeller, but a water jet drive, which is also known as a jet ski drive. This makes it easier to drive through shallow water and easier to stop when driving fast.

A month later, there is evidence that Ukraine used this new type of drone boat in its recent attack on Russian naval ships off the port city of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. Renowned naval expert H I Sutton and other contributors to the industry platform navalnews.com have no doubts that this new model of Ukrainian kamikaze drone was used in the recent attacks.

Experts speak of a USV (Unmanned Surface Vessel) with explosives cargo. Expert Sutton sees clear parallels between the construction of the boat that washed ashore in September and video footage from on board the water drone that has now surfaced.

Some military experts are already seeing a new era in warfare with the simultaneous use of kamikaze drones, which launch themselves from the air with explosives, and models that aim at their targets on the water. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, eight air drones and seven water drones were used in the latest attack.

Allegedly, all flying drones and four boat drones were repulsed and others destroyed on land. Only the minesweeper Ivan Golubets was slightly damaged in the attack, according to a soothing Moscow. According to the published video material, however, a different picture emerges. After that, a boat drone was aimed at an Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate, which apparently did not take any countermeasures.

After the sinking of the Black Sea Fleet's flagship, the Moskva, in April, Ukraine apparently managed to attack the new flagship Makarov for the second time, experts say.

The use of unmanned, remote-controlled boats with explosives in war or by terrorist groups is by no means new. But the attack in mini swarms using rather inexpensive models and a prior detailed analysis of the attack area by intelligence services and possibly satellite images is a modern variant. It should not only worry Russian military experts. The defense technology of the ships or port facilities is then overwhelmed.

So far there have mainly been attacks with larger explosive boats, such as on October 12, 2000 by the terrorist group al-Qaeda on the American destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden. A ship with two people on board steered towards the destroyer with explosives. 17 US Navy personnel were killed. For NATO, this was also a warning signal that warships can be particularly at risk when they are in port.

Naval expert Sutton points out that Germany, for example, used a demolition boat called Fernlenkboot as early as World War I. The control system with a 20-kilometer cable was developed by Siemens. Italy then also built unmanned explosive boats during World War II. Other countries are investing in unmanned floating explosive drones, such as Iran. Some small speedboats are also converted.

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