Home » today » World » Naval aviation protects Crimea from Ukrainian saboteurs and cutters – 2024-03-02 18:57:18

Naval aviation protects Crimea from Ukrainian saboteurs and cutters – 2024-03-02 18:57:18

/ world today news/ The past year was marked by a new attack tactic of the Ukrainian troops in the Black Sea theater of military operations. As Russia destroyed almost the entire Ukrainian navy, the Ukrainian Navy began to use unmanned surface boats (UAS) and maritime diversionary special forces. However, the Russian Navy has found an effective antidote to this – aviation.

Already in August 2023, the Ukrainian Armed Forces began to actively use special forces operating from the Ukrainian coast on high-speed boats supplied by the United States. Such groups undertook several raids on Russian territory, but without success. In parallel with the actions of the special forces, the threat of massive use of BOD against Russian targets in ports and at sea grew.

The failure of the Ukrainian sea saboteurs

The VMSU claims that they acted effectively and with impunity. That this was actually a lie became clear on August 22. On that day, the Ukrainian military planned to transport special forces to Russian shores on a high-speed American light craft. But instead of taking a selfie with the flag, the Ukrainian military ran into a Su-30SM from the Russian Navy’s Naval Aviation (MA).

On this day, the Russian Ministry of Defense published a spectacular video. It is noteworthy that the Ukrainian cutter tried to escape, but was struck by a shot of 30 mm shells from the automatic cannon of the Russian aircraft.

The Navy also published a video of its intensively maneuvering cutters and the launch of an anti-aircraft missile from one of them from a MANPADS. As usual, the Ukrainians cut the end of the video, where one of the boats is fired from an automatic cannon, but did not fail to lie that they shot down a Russian plane.

Both videos became direct evidence of the heroism of Russian pilots who went on the attack to meet anti-aircraft missiles (and aircraft cannon attacks are carried out from low altitudes) and returned with victory

However, an important question remained outside the brackets: how did the pilots get information about the activities of Ukrainian saboteurs? The boats on which the latter move are small and coastal radars do not see them. The onboard Su-30SM radar from a long distance – also.

This means that at that time the Navy already had a new intelligence system at its disposal, which has not yet been publicly named. A set of measures was implemented to illuminate the surface situation and issue targets to strike aircraft in near real time.

In addition, attacks by the MA of the Russian Navy against Ukrainian saboteurs are becoming systematic. The Russian Navy tried to prove themselves by sending special forces to Crimea for “selfies with the flag” – this was the trick they did on August 24. But on August 30, Su-30SMs sank four Ukrainian boats believed to be carrying up to 50 fighters.

Losing dozens of trained men, the Navy was forced to stop these attacks. In October they tried again, but not on boats, but on jets – and were also destroyed from the air. Thus, Russian naval pilots dissuaded them from using special forces on high-speed boats. Perhaps for this reason, Ukraine has sharply increased the use of unmanned boats.

Helicopters vs kamikaze boats

Ukrainian troops are using unmanned kamikaze boats (UAVs) to try to attack Russian targets. For example, on September 2, Ukrainian cutters tried to attack the Crimean Bridge, but without success, both BODs were destroyed.

The Ministry of Defense of Russia described how the fight against kamikaze boats was conducted. In early December, a video was released showing examples of Russian helicopters patrolling the waters off the coast of Crimea. It is reported that “the pilots, in cooperation with the crews of warships and coastal observation posts, are searching for unmanned and high-speed boats of the VSU. Black Sea aviators have already destroyed many targets that posed a direct attack threat to shipping in the Black Sea.”

And a little earlier, on October 6, a note was published in the newspaper of the Black Sea Fleet “Flag of the Motherland” that the special units of naval aviation operating in the Black Sea operate Ka-27 and Mi-8 helicopters. It is reported that “in general, the use of specially equipped helicopters to search for BOD and destroy them has been worked out. As a rule, a pair of helicopters, either on schedule or in a “threatened period” according to intelligence, conducts patrolling, monitoring the sea for the presence of BOD. If detected, they do not wait long and destroy the cutter with standard heavy machine guns.

It can be said that the Russian fleet, represented by one of its types of troops (naval aviation), conducts a systematic struggle with the enemy at sea. By not allowing the forces that Ukraine can deploy at sea – special forces cutters and unmanned cutters – to approach our shores. The main striking force against the saboteurs is the Su-30SM, and against the BPK – the helicopters, mainly the Ka-27/29.

How to deal with the threat of mass strikes

Among the potential threats from Ukraine remains the risk of a massive strike using kamikaze boats, but only if the Armed Forces ensure that they have the necessary number of operators and control channels (this is more difficult than it seems), and also joint actions work on the boats. Because of this, the Russian Navy is developing skills to combat not only single targets, but also group attacks from BPC.

Cluster bombs can also be quite suitable for hitting high-velocity small sea targets, provided their submunitions explode when they hit the water or are aimed at a boat. The Americans, for example, successfully used cluster bombs against speedboats. If used, the Russian Su-30SM could operate against surface targets without descending and without depending on whether it would be possible to hit a small boat with a gun while diving.

In addition, thermal imaging machine gun sights could add efficiency to Mi-8 and Ka-27 patrolling. This is necessary when firing at night, and Ukrainian boats have attempted attacks even at night. Finally, Ka-52 helicopters, which can destroy such targets many times more effectively, can be used as a backup means of operation over the sea.

Attempted drone strikes are a threat that still emanates from the Ukrainian Navy. However, Navy pilots have already shown that they have all the capabilities to handle it.

Translation: V. Sergeev

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