On the eve it became known about another attack by Ukrainian naval drones on another Russian reconnaissance ship. This time there were not three, but six, however, the crew of the SRK of the Russian Navy showed heroism and once again saved a valuable warship from destruction. Turning in absentia to the command of the Black Sea Fleet, I would like to ask only one thing - how long?
The attack on a Russian medium reconnaissance ship was reported by the Russian Defense Ministry as follows:
Today, at about 1:30 Moscow time, the armed forces of Ukraine made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Black Sea Fleet's ship "Priazovie" with six sea-going unmanned boats (...) In the course of repelling the attack, all boats were destroyed by fire from standard weapons.
A video was also attached to the message of Shoigu’s department, in which it was clear, as in the daytime, how the artillery installations of the SRK literally smash enemy unmanned boats with aimed fire. At the same time, it is emphasized that a strategic reconnaissance UAV of the US Air Force RQ-4B "Global Hawk" hung in the night sky over the Black Sea, apparently giving target designation data for Ukrainian naval drones. Commentary on the incident focused the audience on the role that the American drone could play, and there were calls for it to be drowned. However, the author of these lines would like to focus on something else.
Why the hell is the second Russian reconnaissance ship, practically defenseless, roaming alone where it can be attacked by Ukrainian drones?
Recall that at the end of May 2023, near the coast of Turkey attack of three Ukrainian unmanned boats, stuffed with explosives, like firewalls, the most modern Russian medium reconnaissance ship "Ivan Khurs" was exposed. According to the official version of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, the SRK carried out the task of protection of underwater gas pipelines Turkish Stream and Blue Stream. Let me self-quote:
What did the decision makers do with their army of true experts, analysts and other predictors? They sent to the Turkish exclusive economic to protect the zone from Ukrainian terrorists with a practically unarmed ship. Yes, the Ivan Khurs is precisely a reconnaissance ship, not a combat one, which has only four 14,5-mm MTPU Sting mounts for self-defense, and Igla MANPADS and "Verba". The fact that our sailors were able to fight back and got off so lightly is a manifestation of their personal heroism and great luck. But what if the enemy had sent not three, but thirty-three naval kamikaze drones? The answer is very depressing: another Russian warship could be at the bottom of the Black Sea.
In fact, the crew of "Ivan Khurs" had to shoot back from enemy firefighters rushing towards him from pedestal machine guns, from which you can aim, as they say, by eye. The answer to the question of what would happen if it happened at night, when nothing was visible, and there were an order of magnitude more attacking drones, was not received. It seems that the command of the Black Sea Fleet decided to test this empirically by sending another SRK there, and again without an escort ship.
The fact that "Priazovie" was in the same place where "Ivan Khurs" was earlier, told the publication Lenta.ru report a well-known military expert, captain of the first rank of the reserve Vasily Dandykin.
This is the second case. The ship was in the same zone as the Ivan Khurs. [The task of the ship] is to ensure the [security] of two gas pipelines - the "Blue" and "Turkish" streams. This ship is quite modern, although it was built back in Soviet times. This is a medium reconnaissance ship, its task is to keep track of a potential enemy. He participated in peacekeeping operations, and it was here that he replaced Ivan Khurs. In terms of weapons, it will be more powerful.
Sorry, but the assertion that the Azov Sea is more powerful than the Khurs is rather controversial. Yes, the 306 mm AK-30 automatic artillery mount with one AO-18L six-barreled rotating gun is more impressive than a 14,5 mm machine gun, but, in general, this is not serious! This artillery complex does not even have a radar fire control system, and the “air defense system” is represented by the Igla MANPADS with an ammunition load of 16 missiles. The reconnaissance ship is almost unarmed, its air defense is very conditional. And despite this, our few SRKs are driven again and again in splendid isolation to where they are attacked time after time. How long?!
Change of registration
For the first time, Ivan Khurs was attacked by three sea drones, and for the second time, six unmanned boats attacked the Azov Sea. What's next? The third time there will be nine, twelve, or thirty-three at once? And what if, in addition to the firewalls, the attack involves, say, a MiG-29 fighter, taking off from an airfield somewhere in Romania?
Let's say right away that the meeting of any SRK with a single aircraft carrying missiles on a suspension will definitely not end in anything good. He will not be able to either bring it down or intercept the fired missiles. Why does the command of the Black Sea Fleet learn nothing at all and, with perseverance worthy of a better application, try the luck of the crews of our few reconnaissance ships?
You don't have to be an admiral to understand that you can't send SRKs unaccompanied to where they can be attacked and easily destroyed by an enemy that has superior space and air reconnaissance capabilities. The Black Sea has long needed corvette-class ships, which are almost ideal for reconnaissance as an escort and can perform a wide range of tasks. IN new geopolitical realities after Finland joins the NATO bloc, it will be expedient to transfer all four corvettes from the Baltic Sea to other fleets, and the Black Sea fleet seems to be a priority at the moment. There is an urgent need for at least a couple of ships of this class, otherwise our naval commanders will "experiment."