Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

WSJ: Ukraine’s Sea Baby drones strike 4 Russian ships with underwater mines

Ukraine’s remote sea mining is a world first in naval warfare.
WSJ: Ukraine's Sea Baby drones strike 4 Russian ships with underwater mine strategy
Ukrainian naval drone Sea Baby. Photo: SBU
WSJ: Ukraine’s Sea Baby drones strike 4 Russian ships with underwater mines

In 2023, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) deployed a revolutionary naval tactic, using “Sea Baby” drones to plant over 15 underwater mines near Russian-occupied Crimea, according to The Wall Street Journal. This operation damaged four Russian warships, including the corvette Samum, patrol boat Pavel Derzhavin, a large tugboat, and a modern minesweeper Vladimir Kozitsky. 

The SBU developed this strategy after Russia fortified Sevastopol’s port entrance against direct drone attacks. The plastic bottom mines, weighing 180 kg, are nearly undetectable in shallow, silty waters. After six weeks of intelligence gathering, SBU’s Sea Baby drones covertly placed two mines along Russian naval routes.

The operation’s effectiveness was evident when the Samum struck a mine on 14 September, sustaining significant damage. Over the following weeks, Sea Baby drones covered over 3,000 nautical miles, planting approximately 15 more mines.

Ukrainian naval drone Sea Baby. Photo: SBU

The Russians were initially perplexed by the situation. On 11 October, the large patrol boat Pavel Derzhavin damaged its hull while entering Sevastopol Bay. Minesweepers and divers searched the area but apparently found nothing. On 13 October, as Pavel Derzhavin was redirected to another port for repairs, it struck another mine while leaving Sevastopol Bay. A large tugboat sent to rescue it also hit a mine and had to be towed back.

The WSJ noted that a few days later, an explosion also damaged the modern minesweeper Vladimir Kozitsky, one of only two such vessels in Russian service.

This remote mining operation is globally unprecedented, showcasing Ukraine’s innovative approach to asymmetric warfare. 

The Sea Baby drones, capable of carrying 850 kg of explosives, reaching speeds of 90 km/h, and covering 1,000 km, have struck a total of 11 Russian vessels and the Kerch Bridge. Recent upgrades include Grad multiple rocket launchers, expanding their capability to target land-based Russian forces.

Read more:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Premium journalism from across Europe.
    • Tailored to your needs, translated into English.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts