The attack by surface drones on Russian ships in Sevastopol took place on the night of October 28-29, 2022. The Russians admitted that the attack was coordinated by air, surface and underwater drones. According to Russian propaganda, all unmanned aerial vehicles must be shot down. In fact, when fired into the sky, the real attack was from the water. Destroyed unmanned surface boats and at least two, docked and sailing ships in Sevastopol Bay.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense immediately decided to release video of the attack recorded by cameras mounted on drones. This image was transmitted in real time to the operator, who guided the drones precisely to the Russian ships.
Two attacks were recorded, but more surface drones are thought to have been used (the Ukrainians reported a total of four explosions). The first boat 11356R type “Buriewiestnik” (according to NATO type Krivak V) attacked warships with a length of 124.8 m and a displacement of 4035 tons. The second drone successfully attacked a small ship: project 266M minesweeper- “Makwamarin-” ” (according to NATO type Natya) 61 m long and 800 tons displacement. In both cases, the attack was successful, because after hitting the side of the ship, the image from the camera is interrupted, i.e. Explosives piled up on a boat.
#Ukraine: Remarkable video of today’s attack on the Russian Sevastopol naval base.
Ukrainian unmanned surface ships (drone boats loaded with explosives) were able to attack a Project 11356R frigate (presumably Admiral Makarov) and an Ivan Golubets Project 266M minesweeper. pic.twitter.com/6nJVkwvgKW
– 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Watch (@UAWeapons) October 29, 2022
The published footage does not show which Russian ships were attacked (during the war in Ukraine the Russians began removing individual markings from ships or changing them for false information). However, according to the Ukrainians, these were correct: the frigate “Admiral Makarov” (the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet after the loss of “Moscow”) commissioned in 2014 and the minesweeper “Ivan Golubets” launched in the 1970s.
As for the warship, it could have targeted the area where the battle information center is located (from where the battle is going) and hit just below where the survey boat is stored. The Ukrainians may have hoped to be able to detonate the eight-stage vertical launch pad next. This is where “Oniks” anti-ship missiles and “Kalibr” cruise missiles are to be placed.
In the case of a minesweeper, it can be assumed that its stern is struck, perhaps ready to lay sea mines. While Russian officials said all aerial drones were shot down and one surface drone was destroyed, videos recorded by Ukrainian infrared cameras did not confirm this. They clearly show that machine guns and cannons have no firing attributes.
Except for blackout, this may indicate that the ships are not ready for attack: from the air and from the water. Additionally, after the drone hit the first ship, no security measures have been taken yet. This can be clearly seen in images that do not record the largest explosions recorded from shore. So one of them must be earlier.
The Russian ships began to defend themselves only after sunrise when the Ukrainians launched another attack. Then the Russians used not only machine guns to defend themselves, but also artillery. In addition, helicopters appeared above the Russian ships, but did not take off from the ships, but were sent from Sevastopol. It turns out that defense against surface drones is effective.
The most interesting thing is the inertia of the warship in motion, its main air and surface detection radar “Fregat” was probably turned on (its antenna was rotating). Either the clock “fell asleep”, or the Russian radar equipment did not meet the requirements.
For the Black Sea Fleet, damaging (or sinking) one of the three Project 11365R frigates it owns is a huge loss in terms of combat readiness and prestige. Ironically, it will be more noticeable than the sinking of the “Moscow” ship. The cruiser is a common campaign casualty because it has very little real value on the modern battlefield. In the case of the “Buriewiestnik” warships, we are dealing with already modern (by Russian standards) ships that, after their introduction to the Black Sea Fleet, will become a significant force in the Black Sea.
The warship was supplemented for export and its versions were purchased by India, for example, India (already built 11356.6 “Talwar” ships and three 11356R ships currently under construction) land targets using “Calibre” cruise missiles. The (presumably) hit frigate “Admiral Makarov” also fired these missiles at Ukraine. Now the Ukrainians have successfully returned it.
Attacks with explosives-laden boats are not new in maritime operations. In the past 30 years, the most famous case of this kind is the October 12, 2000 suicide attack on the American destroyer USS “Cole” class Arleigh Burke in Yemen. 17 sailors and 39 others injured.
However, this was a peacetime suicide attack and additionally in the theoretically peaceful port of Aden. The Ukrainians, who attacked Russian surface ships with kamikaze drones during the full-scale war, were operating under completely different conditions. The Russians must be prepared for such an attack, and Sevastopol has already been hit by airstrikes several times.
Now, as it turned out, the stagnation in the Russian military applies not only to the army, but also to the navy. The Black Sea Fleet suffered greatly, losing at least several hundred sailors. Most of the people died on the ship “Moscow”. An equally heavy loss was the landing ship “Saratov” of Project 1171, which was sunk by the Ukrainians in Berdyansk harbor on March 24, 2022. At the same time it is known about the sailors killed on two Project 775 landing craft located in Berdyansk, the Ukrainians also sank small units, including Raptor assault boats.
So far, the Russians have not disclosed how many people died in the attacks.
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