A suspected Ukrainian military drone has been found on a beach in Crimea, causing Russia to worry that the device may be used by Kyiv to gather intelligence on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, a news report says.
Naval News reports that Omega Bay is just outside the port entrance and is in an area used by the Russian Navy. It is located approximately 150 nautical miles from the Ukrainian-controlled coast.
Earlier this week, Britain’s Defense Intelligence Agency said such a move was “highly likely due to the recent change in the domestic security threat level in the face of an increased Ukrainian long-range offensive capability”.
Defense experts assessed this as a reference to the Ukrainian long-range artillery and missile systems. This view can be changed in view of the previously unseen ship.
The unmanned surface vessel (USV) is believed to be the size of a kayak and is powered by a single inboard engine with a steerable waterjet propulsion system.
The pole-mounted camera is likely to work both day and night. The fixed plate behind the mast is believed to be a flat antenna for communication and navigation.
There are two forward-facing sensors at the front of the USV, which can act as mechanisms for triggering an explosive device present in the drone.
The range of electronic devices indicates that the vehicle was able to photograph the Russian Navy’s surface and submarine ships, providing accurate locations for a subsequent missile attack.
With such a low profile, the USV would probably be too difficult for Russian radar systems to identify in open water.
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The Ukrainian government did not respond to the reports.