Resourceful Ukraine has been spotted using a custom-built, kayak-sized drone boat to transport explosives

Ukraine’s resistance to Russian invasion has often been described as a battle between David and Goliath, but in this war of attrition, much of the credit for Ukraine’s achievements lies in the country’s technological ingenuity – its ability to innovate and improvise against an overwhelming enemy Power.

Ukrainian armed forces are known to use improvised small consumer drones as a powerful weapon in their war with Russia. However, according to one report, the Ukrainians could also use small drone boats loaded with explosives to attack naval ships of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet.

According to a report by defense analyst HI Sutton in Naval News, an unidentified USV (unmanned surface vessel) was found Wednesday on a beach in Omega Bay near Russia’s largest naval base at Sevastopol on the annexed Crimea peninsula. Omega Bay, about 150 nautical miles from the Ukrainian-controlled coast, is just in front of the port entrance in an area used by the Russian Navy.

Sutton says the unidentified UPS, found on a beach in Omega Bay, is a small, custom-built vessel, about the size of a kayak, yet purposefully built, with the clear implication that the vessel was designed by Ukrainian armed forces is operated.

The UPS is believed to be powered by a single motor mounted internally driving a steerable jet of water. Though images circulating on social media don’t show the ship’s interior, its curvaceous design with external reinforcement shows it’s built for high performance and speed, Sutton says.

In addition, its outer ribbing can serve to break waves washing over the top. Given its small size, the ship would also likely have a very small radar signature.

The report goes on to add that the ship has a number of sensors mounted on the top, the most important of which is a mast-mounted camera, which is a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) device. Sutton points out that this is likely the main sensor for steering and situational awareness. There is also a planar antenna behind the camera, possibly for navigation and/or communications.

According to the report, the UPS also has a smaller camera or sensor on the bow, which appears to be attached to the front. There are also two forward-facing sensors in the bow, lending credence to the theory that the ship was likely designed to ram another ship and detonate like an explosive boat.

Although defense analyst Sutton clarifies that there is no confirmation of the ship’s purpose, he points to local media reports showing the boat was towed to sea and wrecked. The action appears to indicate that the Russian military is already aware of these devices, and the blast suggests the UPS was carrying explosives, he points out in the report.

News of the unidentified USV comes as Russia is reportedly moving its Russian Black Sea Fleet of warships and submarines from Sevastopol. According to Western intelligence officials, this move by the Russians could be due to the increased risk of Ukrainian long-range attack capabilities, which would endanger the attack boats at the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol.

In view of the great successes of the Ukrainian armed forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization on Wednesday and promised to use “all necessary means” to achieve Moscow’s goals against Ukraine and the West. Resourceful Ukraine has been spotted using a custom-built, kayak-sized drone boat to transport explosives

Fry Electronics Team

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