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​Unmanned Kamikaze Boats Have Become a Real Ukrainian Weapon of Deterrence

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Ukrainian surface kamikaze drone Magura V5 / CNN video screenshot
Ukrainian surface kamikaze drone Magura V5 / CNN video screenshot

Kamikaze boats, which Ukraine uses to attack russian invaders, have become a real weapon of deterrence, and even damaged drones can send a russian warship for repairs

Almost a year ago, in September 2022, a mysterious kamikaze boat was first spotted near Crimea — since then, Ukraine has repeatedly used this weapon to attack russian ships and other objects. Since then, surface drones have demonstrated their effectiveness on the battlefield, despite the fact that the occupiers still manage to destroy a significant number of these weapons.

Unmanned Kamikaze Boats Have Become a Real Ukrainian Weapon of Deterrence, Defense Express
"Mysterious kamikaze boat", September 2022

This opinion was expressed by the head of the Defense Intelligence of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, in an interview with the "Крим.Реалії" project by RFE/RL. According to the head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, kamikaze boats have become an effective weapon for deterring the russian fleet.

Read more: ​Ukraine Celebrates Independence Day While the Armed Forces Defend the Country From the russian Invasion

"Of course, it is impossible to use them for offencive. But to paralyze the activity of the fleet, which, in the end, in principle, happened - this has already been achieved. The ships do not go further than the raid of Sevastopol in the northern direction at all", - notes the head of the Defense Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

Unmanned Kamikaze Boats Have Become a Real Ukrainian Weapon of Deterrence, Defense Express
Affected russian "Olenegorsky Gornyak" landing ship / Open source illustrative photo

Kyrylo Budanov admits that the russians really manage to destroy a significant number of surface kamikaze drones - about 60-70%, but at the same time, the 30% that reach their targets pose a problem for the invaders.

It should be noted that even destroyed drones can cause damage to a ship if enemy means of destruction have already targeted them in the immediate vicinity of the ship - as an example, Budanov mentions the destruction of a russian frigate in the Sevastopol Bay, when the radio-electronic and other equipment of the ship was damaged by the blast wave, after why he was under repair for three and a half months.

Budanov does not reveal exactly how many kamikaze boats Ukraine produces and how many of them have already been used by the Ukrainian military to attack the russian invaders, but says that it is about "normal serial production".

We will remind that in recent months, as a result of successful strikes by Ukrainian kamikaze boats, the russian "Olenegorsky Gornyak" landing ship as well as the SIG tanker were hit, as well as a successful attack on the Kerch Bridg - and even these three results have already fully "paid off" the development costs and production of kamikaze naval drones.

Read more: ​The Olenegorsky Gornyak Landing Ship Has a 3-Meter Hole after Attack in Novorossiysk