UK Sends Undersea Mine-Hunting Drones to Help Ukraine Clear Coastline

UK Sends Undersea Mine-Hunting Drones to Help Ukraine Clear Coastline
UK Sends Undersea Mine-Hunting Drones to Help Ukraine Clear Coastline

International Military - The United Kingdom is providing undersea drones to Ukraine and training Ukrainian personnel in the UK to use them to clear the coastline of mines.

Russia has armed food by destroying Ukrainian agriculture and blockading the country's Black Sea ports to prevent exports, with devastating consequences for the world's poorest people as food prices rise.

A small number of ships carrying grain have left Ukraine since the United Nations brokered a deal in July to allow food exports, but efforts to get food from the country continue to be hampered by sea mines left by Russian forces along the Ukrainian coast.

Six autonomous mine-hunting vehicles will be sent to the country to help detect Russian mines in waters off its coast. Three of these will be provided from UK stock, with the other three to be purchased from industry.

This light autonomous vehicle is designed for use in shallow coastal environments, operating effectively at depths of up to 100m to detect, locate and identify mines using a series of sensors so that the Ukrainian Navy can destroy them.

Dozens of Ukrainian Navy personnel will be taught how to use drones over the coming months, with the first phase of their training starting.

Captain Ben Vickery of the Royal Navy, Captain of Royal Navy Diving and Mine Warfare said: “Ukrainian personnel have been outstanding, and have enjoyed working with them and assisting them in their fight to defend their homeland from the aggression they are carrying out. are currently facing. suffer.

This wonderful, motivated and highly professional sailor has stepped into the task and has made tremendous progress in gaining an excellent level of proficiency. I am very proud of them, and the Royal Navy Clearance divers and Mine Warfare specialists providing the training, standing shoulder to shoulder stronger together to complete important training missions driven by shared values ​​and shared bonds."

Admiral Sir Ben Key, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, said: “Through the expert skills taught here, our Ukrainian allies will be able to clear their own waters of mines.

These weapons targeted shipping indiscriminately, but primarily affected civilian traffic and commerce and had a devastating impact on freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. This training is another strong demonstration of the UK's continued commitment to Ukraine in their fight to defend their country and repel Russian aggression."

Defense Minister Ben Wallace said: “Russia's cynical attempts to hold the world's food supply for ransom must not be allowed to succeed. This essential equipment and training will help Ukraine keep their waters safe, help smooth the flow of grain around the world and support the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they work to defend their coastlines and ports.”

The Royal Navy Threat Exploitation & Dive Group will conduct a three-week training course, along with the US Navy's 6th Fleet. Having sufficient experience in using the equipment, they will conduct training at sea to operate the vessel and interpret the data they send back to identify mock mines.

The Royal Navy is also training Ukrainian sailors to operate the Sandown-class Sapper ships. Armed Forces Minister James Heappey and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Havrylov visited Scotland in July to watch participants practice key skills at sea, such as weapons training and damage control, while learning to operate the ship's engines.

The UK also leads a major international program to train up to 10,000 recruited Ukrainian volunteers in basic military skills, which it has announced will be supported by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

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