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Ukraine may deploy Magura V5 naval drones in Azov Sea, which is well within their operational range

Ukraine’s defense intelligence says maritime drones, particularly Magura V5, provide a strategic advantage in the Black Sea against Russia’s larger fleet. With an 800 km range, these drones can reach well into the Azov Sea, yet the agency is cautious about their deployment.
Magura V5 naval drone in the sea. Screenshot: Euronews
Magura V5 naval drone in the sea. Screenshot: Euronews
Ukraine may deploy Magura V5 naval drones in Azov Sea, which is well within their operational range

Ukraine has gained a significant advantage in the Black Sea through the use of maritime drones, according to recent reports from the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR). These drones, particularly the Magura V5, have provided Ukraine with an edge despite the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s numerical superiority, HUR representative Yevhen Yerin said on Ukrainian TV.

In an attempt to get out of reach of Ukraine’s maritime drones, Russian remaining surface carriers of the Kalibr cruise missiles withdrew to the Sea of Azov to carry out launches from a safer location. The Magura V5, a Ukrainian-made unmanned surface vehicle, has a range of 800 kilometers, allowing for operations throughout the Black Sea but also theoretically enabling the drones to cover most of the Sea of Azov, with the entrance to the sea situated some 600 km from launch points in Odesa Oblast.

Yerin noted that the use of Magura drones in the Azov Sea will depend on the operational conditions and scenarios, as the operation of these marine drones involves a comprehensive set of measures.

He emphasized that while the Magura drone can operate on any water surface within an 800 km radius, its deployment depends on specific situational and environmental conditions, and its application involves more than just combat deployment, requiring a complete array of actions for successful mission execution.

These maritime drones have proven to be a game-changer in the ongoing conflict, allowing Ukraine to challenge Russia’s naval dominance in both the Black and Azov Seas. The drones’ versatility and long-range capabilities have effectively extended Ukraine’s maritime influence, despite the country’s next-to-none naval fleet.

The HUR’s Magura drone is smaller and stealthier than the Security Service’s Sea Baby, sitting just half a meter above the waterline against Sea Baby’s 1.6 meters, and has more chances to sneak into the Azov Sea via the heavily defended Kerch Strait.

Over the course of the war, Ukrainian naval drones sank or damaged a number of the warships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Russia lost at least 1/3 of the Fleet’s ships to Ukrainian drone and missile attacks.

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