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Ukraine’s sea drone pilots hailed as high-tech Dambusters for 21st century

Ukrainian naval drone strikes Russian tanker

Ukrainian maritime drone operators have been dubbed the modern counterpart of the famous “Dambusters” after effectively exposing Putin’s faltering naval forces.

The founder of the Council on GeoStrategy, James Rogers, has drawn a link between drones and Britain’s famed bouncing bomb, noted for its ability to hop across water and avoid torpedo nets.

These drones are reminiscent of the historic Dambusters Raid of 1943, which was carried out by the RAF Bomber Command’s 617 Squadron and attacked German dams.

According to Mr Rogers, Ukraine’s inventive approach has outperformed Russia’s superior military force, leaving Putin’s naval fleet constantly on edge.

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Ukraine has been able to deny the Russian Navy dominance of the Black Sea despite being left without a functioning navy.

The annexation of Crimea saw Ukraine’s Soviet hand-me-down ships mostly seized by Russian forces while docked in Sevastopol.

During the first days of the Russian invasion, Kyiv scrambled to defend the country’s coastline lost the strategic outpost of Snake Island and with only coastal defences in place to keep the advancing enemy ships at bay, the Economist reports.

Despite not being able to deploy a surface navy, Ukraine managed to build a weapon to take on state-of-the-art Russian warships.

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Ukraine’s attention has changed from missiles to drones with enough range to cover all of Russia’s Black Sea ports. Kyiv has spent considerable time refining this tactic.

Mr Rogers told the Sun: “Instead they’re using whatever means they have available to make life difficult for Russia, to force Russia to keep warships further away from important areas, and drive up the cost of keeping warships in the Black Sea.

“The UK did something quite similar during the Second World War by developing bouncing bombs to hit German dams.”

Attempts to target the spy ship Ivan Khurs with drones failed in May when the drones failed to detonate. Furthermore, many drone attacks on the Sevastopol port generated dramatic explosions but caused little actual harm since Russian machine guns stopped them.

On August 4, however, a drone struck the Olenogorsky Gornyak transport ship.

A day later, the Sig oil tanker, suspected of transporting gasoline for Russia’s military operations, was also successfully targeted by a drone strike.

The drone in question is thought to be the Magura 5, a small vehicle resembling a speedboat that is guided to its destination by remote control and webcams.

According to BBC Verify, Ukraine launched a crowdfunding campaign in November of last year to acquire 100 of these craft, which have already been deployed to strike 12 different targets.

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