"Impressive return": the NYT tells about Ukraine's success in using naval drones and gives a forecast of the war

Russian dominance in the Black Sea is over, military says

The use of naval drones "shows the way" in Ukraine's fight against Russia. The idea is to complement Western weapons with Ukrainian ones, including innovative systems, and to create a real threat with drones and long-range missiles in order to achieve "meaningful negotiations" with Moscow by 2025.

This was reported by the American newspaper The New York Times. "In a difficult year on land, drones have brought Ukraine success at sea," the article says.

According to military experts, the tactic of swarming maritime drones has proven to be deadly and effective against the dominant naval power in the Black Sea, the newspaper notes.

Now that US aid to Ukraine is in question due to controversy in Congress, President Joe Biden's administration is pushing for joint ventures between US and Ukrainian arms manufacturers.

''Impressive return'': the NYT tells about Ukraine's success in using naval drones and gives a forecast of the war

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who promotes Ukraine as a "center" for weapons production and combat testing, met with executives from US military contractors during a visit to Washington last week, The New York Times reports.

It is also noted that some in the US military want Ukraine to pursue a "hold and build" strategy, meaning that it should focus on holding the territory it has now and building up its ability to produce its own weapons in 2024.

"With the Ukrainian offensive now stalled and little chance of a land offensive, the goal will be to finally create a real threat with drones and long-range missiles to allow for meaningful negotiations with Russia late next year or in 2025," the article says.

The journalists recalled the White House's statement following a conference on Ukraine's domestic defense industry, which called for "developing a robust and self-sufficient Ukrainian defense industrial base that reflects Ukraine's innovative culture and provides materials for urgent military needs."

The US State Department is to send an adviser to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry to oversee the cooperation, the statement said.

According to the NYT, Ukraine's "sprawling military factories" once formed "the cornerstone of the Soviet military industry," producing aircraft and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many of them became obsolete at the end of the Cold War and after Ukraine gained independence.

''Impressive return'': the NYT tells about Ukraine's success in using naval drones and gives a forecast of the war

However, according to military analyst Serhiy Grabsky, domestic arms producers have provided about 20% of the Ukrainian army's needs since the Russian invasion in February 2022.

Ukraine produces armored vehicles and tanks, self-propelled howitzers, artillery shells, and laser-guided anti-tank missiles. However, its greatest potential is seen in the combat testing of innovative systems that can outperform old military equipment, experts say.

Explosive naval drones, a new class of naval weapon, were first used in combat after the Russian invasion.

According to the Ukrainian Navy, in the year since entering the Black Sea, the drones have damaged and sunk dozens of Russian ships and, along with Western-supplied missiles, played a role in forcing Russia to withdraw a court from Sevastopol harbor.

The drones helped clear a channel for grain exports, a crucial commodity for Ukraine's economy, and pushed Russian missile carriers to launch farther from Ukraine's shores, giving more warning of strikes to air defense forces. Ukraine does not disclose the size of its drone fleet.

''Impressive return'': the NYT tells about Ukraine's success in using naval drones and gives a forecast of the war

"No one has the experience of using marine drones like we do. There are no instructors or textbooks. We are now writing these books," said one of the drone pilots.

The last successful maritime drone strike for the military intelligence service was on November 10, when a swarm of UAVs attacked two Russian landing ships moored in a Crimean bay, and both sank.

Russia responded with electronic jamming, as well as installing booby traps at the mouths of harbors, mounting machine guns on its warships, and moving out of range of the drones.

"With each new operation, we learn and they learn," said a Ukrainian naval drone operator.

Naval researchers say that the Ukrainian models have demonstrated how a small armed force can defend coastal waters with drones, The New York Times reports.

According to Sidharth Kaushal, a research fellow and expert on maritime power at the Royal United Services Institute in London, drones will not replace large surface ships in the near future.

''Impressive return'': the NYT tells about Ukraine's success in using naval drones and gives a forecast of the war

However, the ability to inflict significant damage on vessels that are disproportionately priced is "an impressive return on investment," he said.

Ukrainian maritime drones, according to a Ukrainian UAV operator who helped disable the corvette Sergei Kotov, have cleared a swath of about 320 km off the Ukrainian coast.

"They can be rejected. Russia's dominance in the Black Sea is over," the military said.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine has received new drones. They have already been tested at military facilities in various regions of the Russian Federation, intelligence sources said.

Only verified information is available on the OBOZ.UA Telegram channel and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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