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Ukraine spymaster: Even 30% of naval drones that reach targets problem for Russia

Ukrainian one-way attack maritime drones are still an effective weapon, although Russians destroy about 70% of them, a Ukrainian intelligence chief says.
Ukrainian naval drones. Credit: U24
Ukraine spymaster: Even 30% of naval drones that reach targets problem for Russia

Ukrainian “kamikaze” naval drones used to hit targets near occupied Crimea are an effective weapon, even though Russian forces destroy 60% or 70% of them, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate chief Kyrylo Budanov said in an interview with RFE/RL’s Krym.Realii.

“For obvious reasons, we cannot say how many drones there are. But you can see our [footage] cuts, those produced by the Armed Forces, those published by the SBU [security service], just calculate how many it should be, give or take. Let’s just say it’s a lot. It’s really a lot. How effective is all this? Since there are real losses and the price of such a drone and the price of a warship are incomparable, we can say that this is a fairly effective way. But, of course, they destroy 60%, maybe even 70%. This is true. There is nothing to hide here, as they say. However, the problem for them is the 30%,” Budanov said.

According to Budanov, in some cases, a ship is getting damaged and requires “long-term repairs” after the Russian forces destroy a drone near a Russian ship. For example, after a drone was destroyed some 100 meters away from the Russian Navy’s frigate Admiral Essen, the detonation of the drone’s powerful charge destroyed the ship’s radio equipment, and damaged some electronics, antennas, and the hydroacoustic system. After that, the vessel remained in the dock for 3.5 months, Budanov says.

He stressed that naval drones are an effective deterrent weapon:

“This is not an offensive weapon. Of course, it is impossible to assault with them. But paralyzing the activities of the navy is what, in the end, has been achieved. The ships do not go further than the Sevastopol harbor in the northern direction,” Budanov said.

According to him, Ukraine has already mastered “normal mass production” of such unmanned surface vessels.

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