Ukraine's latest unveiling – a 20-foot-long Underwater drone named Marichka – is set to significantly challenge Russia's naval dominance in the Black Sea. This innovative marine tech is aimed directly at Russian warships, signaling a new chapter in maritime warfare.
Traditionally, Ukraine's method to counter Putin's Black Sea fleet relied heavily on surface naval drones. However, the introduction of Marichka has the potential to shift this paradigm.
As the Specialist defense platform, Navalnews pointed out, “Marichka will hit the ships on the underwater part, which can be even more destructive for the warships.” The same source emphasized the difficulty of defending against these “suicide underwater uncrewed vehicles.”
Previously, Ukraine had showcased a smaller submarine drone, the Toloka. The British newspaper, The Telegraph, indicates that its exact deployment against Russian vessels remains unconfirmed.
However, the capabilities of Marichka stand apart. With an impressive range of around 600 miles, this drone can undertake various roles, from attack and transport to reconnaissance missions. Early footage depicts Marichka undergoing sea trials, while an animated video provides a closer look at its detailed specs.
Designed by the dedicated team at Ammo Ukraine, the Marichka is estimated to cost 16 million Ukrainian hryvnia (roughly $433,000), as reported by Ukrainian media via Navalnews. The drone's payload capacity, however, remains undisclosed.
In recent times, Ukraine has intensified its drone-led offenses against Russian ships in the occupied Crimean region of the Black Sea. The efficacy of these aerial assaults is evident, as Kyrylo Budanov, the Ukrainian intelligence chief, remarked that these naval attack drones managed to “paralyze” the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Although Russia continues to counter and destroy many of these drones, Budanov asserts that they serve as a potent “deterrent.”
Ukraine's commitment to naval Drone Technology is further underscored by the establishment of their inaugural naval drone brigade, the 385th Separate Brigade of Special-Purpose Marine Unmanned Systems.
A recent Ukrainian Independence Day parade saw President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reportedly proudly presenting new colors to this brigade.
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