“Watch Ukrainian TB2 Striking Two Russian Raptor Assault Boats” –Naval News

Naval News brings us a report of the destruction of two small Russian patrol boats by small guided weapons launched from an unmanned aircraft.

This should not come as a surprise to anyone. The Ukrainians have been attacking Russian vehicles with guided weapons, launched from UAS since the invasion began. Hitting a boat, is, if anything, easier than hitting a particular moving vehicle on a landscape cluttered with other vehicles, buildings, trees, and various heat sources.

But perhaps for those who have not been paying attention this may be a wakeup call. I happy to be able to say it looks like the Coast Guard has recognized this as a threat to our boats in PATFORSWA.

But maybe we need to look beyond the threat of nation states. Like other effective, but relatively cheap weapons, UAVs, and particularly suicide drones, are likely end up in the hands of non-state actors, including criminal and terrorist organizations.

“Remembering Coast Guard Cutter Cushing” –MyCG

USCGC Cushing sails past the Statue of Liberty

MyCG has a retrospective on the USCGC Cushing, a WPB lost with all hands in action against Russia, after being transferred to Ukrainian Navy, apparently in an effort to lure a Russian corvette within range of shore batteries.

USCGC Cushing sails for her final Coast Guard mission before being decommissioned in 2017

This was how she was armed in Ukrainian service.

Soviet era 25mm gun, the 110 PM.

“Arctic Council boycotts Russia meetings over Ukraine invasion” –The Watch

This map show the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) within the Arctic: Canada (purple), Greenland (orange), Iceland (green), Norway (turquoise), Russia (light blue), and USA (dark blue). As sea ice reduces there will be more opportunity for ice to drift from one EEZ to another, which has implications for the potential spread of pollutants.
Credit: DeRepentigny et al., 2020

This looks important. NORTHCOM’s online magazine “The Watch” reports,

Countries of the Arctic Council declared March 4, 2022, they would boycott future talks in Russia over its Ukraine invasion, throwing international cooperation in the region into upheaval at a time when climate change is opening it up to resource exploitation.

The countries — Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States — said they were suspending their work indefinitely and would skip planned talks in May 2022 in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk due to Moscow’s “flagrant violation” of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

While the action is perfectly justifiable, and marks unity between the non-Russian Arctic nations, unfortunately, it further isolates Russia and cuts another line of communications.

“‘The enemy has retreated again’: Cheering Ukrainian navy hits Russian war ship in Black Sea off Odessa as Kyiv continues to fight back” –Daily Mail

The Daily Mail reports that a Russian Project 22160 corvette has been damaged and possibly sunk.

A contact in Ukraine, that I have been corresponding with for several months, has told me this was related to the loss of the Island class patrol boat P190 Slovyansk, former USCGC Cushing. That Island class patrol boats had enticed the corvette to chase them closer to shore where the corvette was ambushed by a Multiple Launch Rocket System. The former USCGC Cushing was lost in the effort.

The Ukrainian report is here.

Ukraine Conflict Related Incidents

Cormoran (P677), a French navy ship. Brest, Finistère, Bretagne, France. Photo by Gary Houston

I really would like to know the basis of this seizure: French Navy Flamant-class OPV Cormoran seizes Russian cargo ship.

And then there are these seizures of Ukrainian flag ships by the Russians: Russian Navy seized two Ukrainian civilian vessels near Snake Island. If one or both of these ships was seized in Romania’s territorial sea, it would be a violation of international law

“Ukraine to receive 3 more Island-class patrol boats from the U.S.” –Naval Post

180201-N-TB177-0211
U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (Feb. 1, 2018) Island-class patrol boats USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332), left, USCGC Aquidneck (WPB 1309), middle, and coastal patrol ship USS Firebolt (PC 10) patrol the open seas. Wrangell, Aquidneck and Firebolt are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin J. Steinberg/Released)

Naval Post reports,

According to Ukraine’s Washington Ambassador’s statements on Friday, the U.S. will hand over three Island-class patrol boats to Ukraine in November.

Thanks to Nicky for bringing this to my attention. 

“Ukraine, France discussing delivery of OCEA FPB 98 patrol boats ” –Naval News

A Suriname Coast Guard FPB 98 patrol boat (Credit: OCEA)

Naval News reports that Ukraine has announced they are in negotiations for joint production of 20 Patrol Boats to a French OCEA design for their “Sea Guard of the State Border Guard Service,” their coast guard. Sounds like it is a done deal with only minor details to work out.

As noted in the report, the Algerian Navy bought 21 of these and has ordered ten more.

They have a GRP hull and are powered by two 3,660 HP Caterpillar diesels using waterjets. Specs on the Algerian boats as follows.

  • Displacement: 100 tons
  • Length: 31.8 meters (104’4″)
  • Beam: 6.3 meters (20’8″)
  • Draft: 1.2 meters (3’11”)
  • Speed: 30 knots
  • Range: 900 nmi @ 14 knots
  • Crew: 13

Most of these boats are armed with a single auto-cannon forward. In most cases a 20mm, the Algerian boats have a 30mm. Given the Ukranians’ tensions with Russia, curious to see if they may choose to provide more weapons.

We have seen products from OCEA before. They provided four smaller patrol boats to the Philippine Coast Guard. These boats like those that went to the Philippines have provision for a RHIB launched by davit.

Russian CG and Ukrainian Navy Go to Blows.

A couple of reports of a nasty incident that culminated in the seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels. This may be worth watching. It is another assault on Freedom of Navigation.

“Tension escalates after Russia seizes Ukraine naval ships”

“Russia blocks passage in Kerch Strait Near Crimea, Deploys Su-25 Jets And Ka-52 Attack Helicopters.”