To sink Ukrainian drone submarines, the Russians could imitate Soviet tactics

With a launch in late August Marishka– A prototype of an 18-foot-long unmanned submarine – The Ukrainian Navy could soon deploy an offensive undersea capability. Underwater drones, equipped with explosives and guided by an internal inertial system, could wreak havoc on what remains of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet.

Since the Black Sea Fleet cannot receive reinforcements — Turkey controls the Bosphorus Strait and does not allow warships to pass through it — it must make do with the forces it already has while it devises ways to intercept a possible future fleet of Ukrainian drone submarines.

This means the fleet’s sonar-equipped Kamov Ka-27 helicopters, as well as the 181st Anti-Submarine Ship Division. The department supervises four projects 22160 and three Grisha III Anti-submarine warfare cruisers.

The newer 1,700-ton Project 22160 aircraft apparently lack sonar, as their job is to screen the older 1,000-ton models. Grisha IIIs, which comes equipped with two sonar devices: one mounted below the bow and the other—the classic Elk Tail—in which the ship lowers vertically on a long cable.

the Grisha IIIThey are around 40 years old, so it is worth questioning their condition. But in their day, they were “tough little fighters,” according to Renowned naval analyst Norman Polemare, writing in… procedures– US Navy Professional Magazine – 1976.

If the Black Sea Fleet could deploy Kamov missiles and Grisha IIIAs the Soviet Navy did, it might be able to find and sink Ukrainian drone submarines before they slip into the fleet’s anchorage.

Soviet anti-submarine tactics in shallow waters were fairly sophisticated, said naval advisor Troy Bentz to explain In the 2010 issue of procedures. “The Soviets relied on active sonar as the preferred method of detection in coastal areas,” Bentz wrote. “They learned that sonar dipping — lowering a sonar transducer into the water from an anti-submarine helicopter — on fast platforms was extremely valuable.”

“Using two or three platforms in the system was the most tactically effective,” Bentz continued. “The Soviets used dipping sonar not only on helicopters, but also on airplanes GrishaASW-class cruisers.” i.e. a combination of two or three Kamov or GrishaWill do.

Bentz explained that the cruisers and helicopters worked together using “jumping frog” tactics. “One ship will drift, actively moving using dim sonar, while another ship pulls forward to a calculated position.” In this way, pairs of helicopters or cruisers could tow a kind of sonar string across a sea checkpoint, for example, at the entrance to a bay.

If there is a flaw in the tactic, it is that Kamov O Grisha Hovering or idle while dipping Elk Tail sonar. Each dipping sonar was a fixed obstacle around which the cautious submarine commander could navigate.

The Soviets had anticipated this problem. a GrishaThe Corvette’s bow sonar continuously emits sounds as the Corvette cruises. In a large enough Soviet fleet, some cruisers could sweep while others dive.

The defect in Which The tactic is that the bow sonar usually has a blind spot behind it, where the ship’s screws are located. In 1977, the Royal Navy submarine HMS Swiftsure Famous exploit That tough, hard point of sneaking into a Soviet battle group and spending hours under a then-new aircraft carrier Kyiv. The result was an intelligence trove.

All of this meant that the Soviets had an effective way of waging anti-submarine warfare near shore, but it was not perfect. If the Russians can replicate this tactic, they may have a chance to intercept future attacks by Ukrainian drone submarines.

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