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Drone Ships In The Black Sea: A New Naval Warfare Frontier

Drone ships, also known as uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), have emerged as a significant addition to the ongoing conflict in the Black Sea between Ukraine and Russia. These unmanned vessels, operating on or below the water’s surface, have been deployed for various tasks, including military purposes such as mine-clearing, surveillance, and targeted attacks.

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The Technology and Cost of Drone Ships

Equipped with explosives and cameras, drone ships are remotely controlled by humans and can be pre-programmed for long-range targets. Made with “off-the-shelf” components, some of these vessels have been developed with the support of crowdfunding campaigns, making them cost-effective compared to traditional naval assets. One Ukrainian drone ship, the Toloka TLK-150, was unveiled as a prototype of an unmanned undersea drone.

Drone Attacks and Their Impact

Ukraine has reportedly conducted at least ten attacks using drone ships, targeting military ships and Russia’s naval bases. The most significant attack occurred in October 2022, when both ship and aerial drones struck Russia’s naval base in Sevastopol, causing damage to several Russian ships.

These drone attacks, at a relatively low cost, pose a considerable risk to Russia, as they are harder to detect on radar and travel with reduced noise.

Credits: Pexels

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The Future of Naval Warfare

Despite the advantages, drone ships still face challenges, including limited onboard sensors’ field of view and constant communication requirements with controllers. Nevertheless, Ukraine’s successful deployment of drone ships has attracted international attention and may inspire other navies to develop similar systems.

The emergence of drone ships signals a new era for naval warfare, as they continue to play a role in the ongoing conflict in the Black Sea.

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!