​Ukraine Presents Sea Drone With Rocket Launcher and the Video of First Ever Drone vs. Ship Naval Battle

SeaBaby unmanned multirole maritime platform / Illustrative photo credit: Security service of Ukraine
SeaBaby unmanned multirole maritime platform / Illustrative photo credit: Security service of Ukraine

Ukrainian security agency reveals the modification of the SeaBaby, armed with flamethrower systems

Interview between a journalist of Ukrainska Pravda and representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine contains many insights into the naval aspect of the war between Ukraine and russia. In particular, one detail deserves attention.

SeaBaby is one of the two types of maritime drones operated by the SSU, besides Kozak Mamai; and there's also Magura V5 which is used by the military intelligence agency. As Defense Express reported earlier, unlike the other two, SeaBaby is not just a suicide drone but a multirole platform. During the interview, Chief of the SSU, Vasyl Maliuk, disclosed one more iteration of this unmanned surface vehicle.

Read more: ​Ukraine Reveals One More Weapon of Naval Warfare in the Black Sea

In the video presented above, the SeaBaby is firing rocket-propelled projectiles at the warships deployed from a russian port in Crimea to intercept incoming Ukrainian sea drones:

"But the unmanned vehicles, instead of fleeing, turned onto them and opened fire," the article's author noted about what he described as the "historically first battle between unmanned systems and coastal defense ships."

The presence of a "flamethrower system," as defined by the journalist Roman Romaniuk, is the result of constant upgrades to Ukrainian naval drones. The current generation has little in common with the initial prototypes developed back in the summer of 2022, and first deployed in the autumn same year.

"Now, the new generation of these vehicles has several times increased explosive payload: from 108 to 850 kilograms, they use the best communication systems, each costs over 300,000 dollars, the body is made of material invisible to radars and many other innovative solutions are employed," the article reads.

SeaBaby unmanned multirole maritime platform
SeaBaby unmanned multirole maritime platform / Illustrative photo credit: Security service of Ukraine

The author does not specify whether all versions of the SeaBaby have a flamethrower installed or if is it a specific modification. NIP Tysk media portal suggests that the weapon used by SeaBaby is either RPO-A Shmel thermobaric rocket launcher or its Ukrainian-produced analog RPV-16.

Launchers on a Ukrainian SeaBaby naval drone
Launchers on a Ukrainian SeaBaby naval drone / Photo credits: Security service of Ukraine, 1+1 Media

Another interesting note is that the first generation of the naval drone was developed in a joint effort of business and the state. On a reminder from Defense Express, while the private company behind the development is not disclosed, the product was presented at the IDEF 2023 expo in London under the patronage of SpetsTechnoExport state-owned trade enterprise.

This private manufacturer later received a commission from the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, whereas SeaBaby development separated from the original project and was designed by SSU on its own.

Read more: Ukraine's Radar Hunter Gekata ELINT Drone Tested, Needs Improvement, Company Says