Ukraine has sunk another Russian warship in the Black Sea using drones. The Ivanovets, a $70 million missile corvette, went down on January 31. Video shows multiple Ukrainian boat drones dodging bullets before hitting the stern of the warship, disabling it in the water and then causing it to sink. According to the Ukrainians, a search and rescue operation found no survivors. Kyiv said the mission was carried out by shadowy ‘Group 13’ of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukraine’s spy agency, along with the Digital Ministry. It is at least the fifth warship that Putin has lost from his once-feared Black Sea Fleet, which is being beaten by a country with no functioning navy. British Intelligence estimated Ukraine had destroyed a fifth of the fleet even before the Ivanovets was sunk, helping Ukraine keep its ports open.
(YouTube video description from the Daily Mail)
Comment: This is an instructive video. It should send a chill up the spine of every serving naval officer throughout the world. We have already seen what the massive use of drones is doing to the conduct of land warfare. This attack was carried out with a swarm, albeit a small swarm, of a drone designed and built under the stress of an ongoing war. It wasn’t a surprise attack. The Russian corvette was underway and returning fire. The drones evaded that fire. The strike to the stern of the corvette was an immobilizing hit. The double strike to the midships destroyed it. The drones were likely controlled from Odesa, maybe with a seaborne or airborne relay. Or it could have been controlled from a small craft from a closer distance.
Now imaging a larger swarm of even more capable drones, or FPV long range torpedoes. How about deploying and controlling such drones from a submarine? The navies of this world are in for some serious rethinking and refitting.