The remarkable influence of Ukrainian naval drones on sea warfare and the cutting-edge "Marichka" drone's capabilities. Learn how these cost-effective drones are changing the course of maritime conflicts
Ukrainian naval drones are proving highly effective and are currently exerting a significant influence on the course of maritime warfare. The new drone named "Marichka" currently undergoing testing, possesses the capability to strike ships below the waterline, according to Pavlo Lakiychuk, the head of security programs at the Center for Global Studies "Strategy XXI" and a captain in the Ukrainian Navy. Lakiychuk made these statements during a recent telethon.
He emphasized that Ukrainian kamikaze drones are already playing a decisive role in naval conflicts, with their impact causing concern not only for the enemy but also for the international community. These drones are lauded for their cost-effectiveness, affordability, and impressive success rate.
However, Lakiychuk acknowledged that these drones do have vulnerabilities, particularly during the final phase of their approach to the target when they are susceptible to artillery fire and small arms. To mitigate this weakness, he highlighted the importance of having the ability to strike targets below the waterline, which would decrease the effectiveness of conventional countermeasures.
The 'Marichka' underwater drone is 6 meters long, 1 meter wide and has a range of 1,000 kilometers. It was designed to attack warships, boats, submarines, coastal fortifications and bridge supports. It can also perform reconnaissance tasks and transport cargo instead of explosives.
Lakiychuk speculated that the "Marichka" drone could serve multiple functions, including acting as a kamikaze drone, a tugboat, or a transport for special forces operations on enemy shores.
"They are economical, cheap, effective and have proven to be very successful"
He also credited the combined use of cruise missiles, naval kamikaze drones, and aerial drones by the Ukrainian military in sea operations, which has led to Russian forces retreating from Ukrainian waters in the Black Sea. Despite not having complete dominance in the western part of the Black Sea due to limited resources, the Ukrainian military's effective use of maritime drones has forced the enemy to evacuate key positions.
"Ukrainian kamikaze drones are already having a decisive influence on the course of the war at sea"
The development of the underwater maritime drone "Marichka" is ongoing in Ukraine, with recent tests announced by the AMMO Ukraina charity foundation. Yuri Mysiagin, deputy chairman of the Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada, shared preliminary test footage of "Marichka" and noted that the production cost of each drone is UAH 16 million.