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Russia push to match Ukraine in kamikaze sea drones, says UK intelligence

Russia push to match Ukraine in kamikaze sea drones, says UK intelligence Russia will try to establish the production of marine kamikaze drones (video screenshot)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Russian military industry seeks to close the gap with Ukraine in the development of surface kamikaze drones, reports the UK Ministry of Defense.

As noted in the summary, on November 27, 2023, Mikhailo Danilenko, the head of the Russian company KMZ, announced that their drones would be tested in the war with Ukraine to establish serial production in 2024.

According to UK intelligence, KMZ previously produced some drones, but in recent months they have begun promoting their kamikaze drone capabilities. Danilenko said that the boat can carry ammunition weighing up to 600 kg.

"Navies have employed USVs since the Second World War. However, with modern types resembling speedboats packed with explosives, in the hands of Ukrainian forces they have emerged as a key capability in maritime domain since Russia’s full-scale invasion," the UK Ministry of Defense notes.

Ukrainian drones

In July 2023, the Security Service of Ukraine attacked the Crimean bridge with SeaBaby sea drones. The drones were controlled by a team from Kyiv during the attack on the bridge. The distance to the bridge was more than 900 kilometers.

The agency used exclusively its forces and means to create a marine drone. According to Vasyl Maliuk, head of the SSU, Western partners are also interested in SeaBaby manufacturing technology.

In 2023, Ukraine broke through the blockade and started exporting from the ports of "Velyka Odesa". As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, Ukraine had agreed to receive warships to protect vessels "in the grain corridor" in the Black Sea.