TechUkraine strikes back: Major attacks on Crimea deal blow to Russia

Ukraine strikes back: Major attacks on Crimea deal blow to Russia

View from the Magura V5 drone camera being fired upon by a Russian helicopter.
View from the Magura V5 drone camera being fired upon by a Russian helicopter.
Images source: © X (dawniej Twitter)

7:12 AM EDT, May 30, 2024

Ukrainians, during the night from May 29 to May 30, 2024, carried out two major attacks on Crimea, inflicting painful losses on the Russians. The attack involved maritime drones and ballistic missiles. Here, we present the background of this attack and the equipment the Ukrainians used.

The Ukrainians targeted two locations: the first being the area around the famous Crimean Bridge, and the second a port in the northwest of Crimea that serves as one of the bases for Russian Coast Guard units.

Ballistic missile attack in the Crimean Bridge region

Ukrainian and Russian sources report an attack on the Russian ferry crossing. The ballistic missiles were reportedly shot down by Russian air defense (which is very strong in the bridge area). Still, even so, falling debris managed to damage two tugboats, one of which ultimately sank. This significantly degrades Russia's ability to supply Crimea via the Kerch Strait.

It is worth noting that even when a missile is successfully shot down, its debris, which can weigh up to several hundred pounds, still falls to the ground. For example, the launch mass of the MGM-140 ATACMS is about 3,700 pounds, with over 1,100 pounds attributed to the warhead.

In previous months, the Ukrainians have also used S-200 Vega anti-aircraft missiles as makeshift ballistic missiles. These are very large constructions with a launch mass of 15,400 pounds, 478 pounds of which are attributed to the warhead. However, modified examples for ground target attacks may have had more significant destructive potential.

If the mass of several hundred pounds is combined with a velocity of, for instance, Mach 5 (3,838 ft/s), we get debris with very high kinetic energy capable of causing significant damage.

Maritime drones hunt for Russian patrol boats

The second attack involved using the Magura V5 maritime drones to sink two KS-701 class Tunets patrol boats. In the following footage, one of the marine drones can be seen heading towards the target while avoiding fire from a Mi-24/35 Hind helicopter's cannon.

This demonstrates that Ukrainian attempts to arm “wolf packs” of maritime drones in a pair of anti-aircraft versions make a lot of sense. This ensures protection from helicopters for other drones equipped with a warhead weighing about 660 or 1,320 pounds.

Russian KS-701 boats have a displacement of 50,700 pounds and are characterized by light armor designed to stop only light small-arms fire. Their armament includes a Kord 12.7x108 mm heavy machine gun and a mix of 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missile launchers and PKP Pecheneg machine guns, modernizing the old PKM. This represents a significant loss for the Russians in the context of operations in the Dnieper Delta.

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