Ukraine Unveils Upgraded Sea Baby Drones

( – The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) started developing the first-of-their-kind “Sea Baby” drones in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022. Unlike their aerial counterparts, these multifunctional weapons platforms operate on water as unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). They quickly became integral to Ukraine’s success in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. The wartorn country recently unveiled an upgraded version of the arms system.

On April 14, SBU spokesperson Artem Dekhtiarenko confirmed the recent modernization of Ukraine’s Sea Baby USVs. They can now carry nearly 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of explosives to strike targets more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from their launch sites. Previously, the weapons systems could only transport up to 850 kilograms (1875 pounds).

Sea Baby drones can travel up to 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles per hour) and are outfitted with a specialized outer skin that is invisible to radar detection.

During a recent television appearance, Dekhtiarnko boasted that the newly upgraded drones could reach targets “almost anywhere in the Black Sea.” He also noted that Sea Baby and Mamai maritime drones represented a new generation of USVs, thanks to the dedication of SBU specialists and other members of Ukraine’s defense and security forces.

The USVs cost roughly $222,000. The Kyiv Independent recently reported that the Ukrainian-based crowdsourcing platform United24 raised more than $7.77 million in just 36 hours — enough money to manufacture dozens of Sea Baby drones.

Ukrainian social media influencer and blogger Ihor Lachenkov shed some perspective on that accomplishment. He told his 1.4 million Telegram followers that the fundraising drive raised roughly enough money per hour to pay for a drone.

Ukrainian Navy USV operators/pilots have intensified their attacks on Russian assets in and around the Crimean Peninsula and the North Sea in recent months. The Ukraine Armed Forces Strategic Communications Center recently reported that about a third of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet vessels had been sunk or disabled by Ukraine as of early February.

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