What we know about Ukraine's mysterious surface drones that attacked Crimea Bridge

What kind of surface drones did Ukraine use to attack Crimea Bridge?


A number of attacks with the use of unmanned vehicles took place over the weekend and on Monday night. During the weekend, a number of drones attempted to attack the City of Sevastopol, Crimea. On July 17, surface drones attacked and damaged the Crimean Bridge.

A surface drone is an unmanned boat carrying explosives. Such a boat acts as a kamikaze drone. Ukraine has Mykola-1 and Mykola-2 surface drones.

"They are five-meter vessels, very outwardly reminiscent of jet skis. They can travel at high speed, up to 100 km/h," reserve lieutenant colonel Andrey Popov, a veteran of Alpha special forces, told RBC.

On July 16, nine drones, including two unmanned boats of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, took part in attacks on Sevastopol. Russian coast guard destroyed them.

According to military expert Yuri Lyamin, surface drones can be operated through Starlink system, but it is also possible to calculate the route using satellite navigation system data.

Alexei Leonkov, a military expert of Arsenal of the Fatherland Magazine, said that such devices could be of serial production. They could also be reworked jet skis first launched from a ship and then operated from an aerial drone.

According to Popov, surface drones can in most cases be detected visually. However, the vehicle may travel submerged and looking only 10-20 cm out of the water. The speed of such a drone will be lower, the cost will be higher, and it will also be more difficult to detect and destroy a drone like this.

Surface drones can normally be destroyed with the help of homing grenade launchers. Copters can also be used for the purpose.

Examples of surface drones can be found in various countries, e.g. Sea Hawk and Mantas 12 in the USA or Seagull in Israel. Nothing has been reported about the transfer of any of such drones to Ukraine lately.

Russia has surface drone developments, but the Russian defence industry makes such vehicles for mine clearing purposes. This does not mean, though, that they can not be used as kamikaze drones too.

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First ride on Crimean Bridge
Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov