Repeated attacks on Russian vessels show that Ukraine is not as weak at sea as it might have seemed until recently. Military analysts conclude that since the beginning of Russian aggression, Kiev has systematically worked to strengthen the effectiveness of weapons that play an unprecedented role in the current war.
Ukraine already has it available several species sea surface and underwater drones, some of which can carry explosives powerful enough to seriously damage Russian warships (more here).
Marička was developed with the help of donations by volunteers from an organization called AMMO Ukraine. They have now published footage of this drone on social networks.
As seen in the introductory video, this is a vessel that looks like a large torpedo. Its length is about six meters and the vessel can allegedly cover a distance of almost 1,000 kilometers, according to the Navalnews website, which specializes in maritime topics.
The marine drone is likely to be used for both attack and reconnaissance missions. But the exact specification is not available.
Fatal damage to a submarine and landing craft, a hit by two anti-aircraft systems, an occupation of oil platforms and a hunt for patrol boats. Ukraine has shown that neither Crimea nor the Black Sea is a safe springboard for a Russian war.
Marička underwater drone should have several advantages compared to other and already better known Ukrainian drones. For example, it should be harder to capture than surface vessels and cause more damage by exploding below the waterline. Ukraine has previously developed an underwater drone called Toloka. However, it is not known if it has already been operationally deployed against Russian targets.
The Warzone server is considering how Marička’s guidance will be. Surface vessels use a combination of satellite navigation and terminal targeting via electro-optical and infrared cameras to hit their target. For the underwater drone, the guidance method is not yet clear.
The website hypothesizes that the drone could be used against fixed targets such as bridges or ships in a harbor. To carry out such an attack, all you need is a specific set of location coordinates and the ability to sail there.
Ukraine has been attacking targets on the occupied Crimea peninsula for a long time, especially the Russian port of Sevastopol and the Kerch (Crimea) bridge, which connects the annexed Ukrainian peninsula with mainland Russia.
Underwater drones can more easily penetrate Russian defenses, which consist of floating booms, obstacles and other barriers that Russian forces have deployed in Sevastopol Bay on the occupied Crimean peninsula. Moscow also uses trained dolphins for defense. The main task of these marine mammals is to protect the harbor from hostile divers who could damage the local vessels.
The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, which is based in Sevastopol, has recently come under repeated Ukrainian shelling (more here). On Friday, the fleet headquarters itself became the target of the attack. According to Ukraine, 34 people died. Among them was fleet chief Viktor Sokolov, who led the Black Sea Fleet from September 2022. He previously served with the Northern or Pacific Fleets. Russia has not confirmed the information about his death.
Analyst on the attack on the Russian amphibious assault ship
“It’s a significant success,” comments security analyst Jan Ludvík in an interview for Nauzal about the probable intervention of the Russian amphibious assault ship. But he is mainly talking about the psychological effect, the blow will not affect the whole war much.