The United States is sending unmanned ships to Ukraine to support Ukraine in its war against Russia. The Pentagon is hesitant about the information it wants to share, so it is not yet clear which ships will be sent east. Never before have unmanned surface ships been involved in war.
Common Unmanned Surface Vehicle, one of the USVs that can be transmitted. (Photo: Dextron)
The plan is part of a new US $ 800 million bailout package. The U.S. Department of Defense’s written statement states that an unspecified number of unmanned Coast Guard vessels will be delivered to Ukraine.
Press Secretary John Kirby declined to comment further Unmanned surface vessels (USVs). According to Kirby, they can be used for a variety of purposes and come from NATO stocks. “I’m not going to promise you a fact sheet, but I can promise bad deeds,” the press secretary said.
Specific option from Ukraine
In doing so, the United States is responding to a specific desire of the Ukrainians. According to Kirby, Ukraine has repeatedly indicated that it needs coastal defense equipment. According to Kirby, this was necessary because the Russians had shifted their focus to the east and south.
Ukraine has the longest coastline in the southeast of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Russians fired ground targets in Ukraine from the sea, including their caliper missiles. Therefore, coastal protection is very important for Ukraine.
The Pentagon has so far refused to provide further details, but Kirby said the USVs would help Ukraine protect the coast. It may support attacks on Russian ships, but only if Russia decides to deactivate naval mines.
Defensive or offensive?
According to experts who Fedscope Ships may have been sent primarily for information gathering, surveillance, espionage and anti-landmine operations. It is possible, however, that the USVs would eventually be used for offensive missions, although it is not clear what weapons systems these USVs could use against ships.
“Once the USVs are in the hands of the Ukrainians, they can equip the ships as they wish. I would not be surprised if the USVs were fitted with armaments to attack Russian ships. These could be small missiles or machine guns. Another. Then I want to be loaded on a Russian ship, “said Ryan Clark.
Devil Ray from Murdoch. (Photo: US Navy)
The U.S. Navy, along with other areas of U.S. defense, has already built and tested several USVs. In this case it is mainly about small vessels because there is a practical overview in terms of transport.
Fedscoop reports that the Textron-developed USV, also known as the Unmanned Surface Vehicle, is a good candidate. This is the only type that the US Navy has real experience with, and the others are mainly role models. CUSVs are more than nine meters long. Incidentally, the US Navy calls these ships MCM USV because they are used to fight mines.
Other good competitors to go to Ukraine are the Mandas T-12, as they were recently implemented by the Ukrainians at a naval base in Virginia. These are USVs about 3.5 meters long and can carry a maximum weight of 64 kg.
Another impressive USV is MARTAC’s T38 Devil Ray. It is, as far as is known, the fastest USV with a speed of 80 knots. In terms of size, Devil Ray is about 11 meters long and comparable to RHIB.
The U.S. Navy has more unmanned surface vessels and several projects. They want to build USVs in four variants, from the smallest to the largest. Extra small is less than seven meters for all USVs. The smallest is for USVs ranging from seven to 12 meters. The medium is for USVs 12 to 50 meters long and the largest is for USVs over 50 meters long. The latter type has a displacement of between 1,000 and 2,000 tons.
An example of this expansion is Sea Hunter, developed by Vigor Industrial. The USV launched its first tests in 2016 and cost about $ 20 million. The ship is 40 meters long, has a maximum displacement of 145 tons and a maximum speed of 27 knots.
Elbit’s Seagull submarines can also be hunted. (Photo: Elbit)
Is the use of USVs new?
The use of drones is not revolutionary. USVs are in use in many countries. For example, the Israeli navy has a Seagull van Elpit built in the Netherlands, and the Americans have been using such ships for some time in the Persian Gulf.
In addition, China, Sweden and Turkey, among others, now have USV. The Netherlands has also been testing the USV from the French ECA since January. These will be used for anti-mining activities. The use of USVs in war is a novelty. As far as we know this has never happened before.
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