Ukrainian Drones Sunk Russian Patrol Ship Sergei Kotov in Strategic Strike

Russian TOS-1A in Ukraine War
March 5, 2024 Topic: Security Region: Europe Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: RussiaUkraineWar In UkrainePutinRussian NavyMilitaryDefense

Ukrainian Drones Sunk Russian Patrol Ship Sergei Kotov in Strategic Strike

The Russian Navy's patrol ship, the Sergei Kotov, was reportedly sunk by Ukrainian sea drones near the Kerch Strait, marking a significant operational success for Ukraine's military.

Summary: The Russian Navy's patrol ship, the Sergei Kotov, was reportedly sunk by Ukrainian sea drones near the Kerch Strait, marking a significant operational success for Ukraine's military. Deploying the Magura V5 unmanned surface vehicle, Ukraine inflicted critical damage on the ship, emphasizing the effectiveness of sea drones in modern maritime warfare. This incident contributes to the growing list of Russian naval assets targeted since the onset of the conflict, underlining the escalating maritime confrontations in the Black Sea. The use of such drones highlights the evolving dynamics of naval engagements and the increasing role of unmanned systems in achieving strategic military objectives.

Sea Drone Warfare: The Downing of the Sergei Kotov Marks a Naval Milestone

A Russian patrol ship was reportedly struck by Ukrainian sea drones and sunk in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Ukraine's military intelligence service claimed the ship, belonging to the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet, was damaged by a Ukrainian sea drone.

"As a result of a strike by Magura V5 maritime drones, the Russian ship Project 22160 Sergey Kotov sustained damage to the stern, starboard and port sides," Ukraine's Intelligence agency wrote on Telegram in an official confirmation of the attack.

Western media have not independently confirmed the strike, and the Kremlin has yet to comment. However, Russian bloggers did confirm the Sergei Kotov came under attack and that it was sunk near the Kerch Strait, which separates the annexed Crimean Peninsula's eastern coast from Russia.

A video purported to show the sinking of the Sergei Kotov has been shared on social media.

The Magura V5 Sea Drone

The Magura V5 Unmanned Surface Vehicle was developed in Ukraine for use in maritime operations, including surveillance, reconnaissance, patrol, and combat missions. It features a hydrodynamic body and is capable of agile maneuverability with quasi-stealth capabilities.

The USV measures 5.5 meters (18 feet) in length and 1.5 meters in width. It boasts cruising speeds of 22 knots (25 miles per hour) and a maximum speed of 42 knots. It has a range of approximately 833 kilometers (518 miles) and a payload capacity of 320 kg (705 lbs).

The Sinking Feeling

The Sergei Kotov is one of four active Russian Project 22160 patrol ships operating in the Black Sea. It was commissioned at the Zaliv Shipyard in late July 2022. The vessel was previously attacked and damaged by a Ukrainian USV last September. 

Another Project 22160 patrol ship, the Pavel Derzhavin, was damaged by a sea drone in October 2023. The vessels, which cost around $65 million, reportedly carry cruise missiles and have a crew of around 60 officers and sailors.

At least 13 Russian naval ships have been destroyed or damaged since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion more than two years ago, the BBC reported, citing data from the International Institute for Strategic Studies. These include the Black Sea Fleet's flagship Moskva, the largest warship sunk in wartime since the Falklands War in 1982.

In February, Kyiv claimed its forces sank the Caesar Kunikov landing ship, as well as the corvette Ivanovets, off the coast of Crimea. Neither attack has been acknowledged by Moscow.

Author Experience and Expertise: Peter Suciu 

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu. You can email the author: [email protected].