Ukraine War: Underwater Miner Drones Train ‘Game Changers’ to Clean Coasts | UK News

Ukrainian sailors who are being trained by the Royal Navy to use underwater mine-hunting drones will play a key role in helping to clean up the country’s coastline.

More than a dozen Ukrainian employees have begun a three-week course at a facility in southern England, learning how to operate and analyze data from ships.

The drone scans the seabed using sonar technology and will be used by the Ukrainian navy to detect explosive threats underwater.

One sailor told Sky News that the drones “will be very helpful for us to clear the sea area, especially in a very important area, close to Odesa”.

“Our main mission is to detect these mines because it’s so important not only for the military, but for civilian ships, for civilian commerce,” he added.

Under the current situation, complete coastal demining could take a decade, but for now the focus is on returning to Ukraine with the skills to start operating drones “immediately.” “.

He added: “The whole nation, like a fist, we are strong.”

The program is expected to be key in helping to move grain ships safely out of the country.

Exports from Black Sea ports resumed in early August after Russia lifted its naval blockade – a blockade that has had serious consequences for grain supplies and prices worldwide.

However, exports are moving slowly and are ultimately hampered by the threat from marine mines.

Ukrainian Navy divers took part in class and hands-on training with Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) provided by the Royal Navy.  (Photo: MoD)

Sir Admiral Alan West, the First Former Navy SEAL, told Sky News that the underwater drone would be a “game changer” for the Ukrainian Navy.

“They’ll be able to get a major route out of their port very quickly.

“That’s important because there’s a tremendous amount of pressure, global pressure, to really start shifting what one might call a mountain of grains.

“And it’s not just grains, it’s vegetable oils and corn. It’s affecting the level of starvation in many parts of the world where they’re on the brink of starvation.

“This thing needs to start moving.”

In total, six autonomous drones will be donated to Ukraine, both to the UK and to the US.

The training is being conducted by the Royal Navy’s Threat Diving and Exploitation Group along with the US Navy’s 6th Fleet.

Sean Heaton, Commander of the Royal Navy The Threat Diving and Mining Team, told Sky News: “For now, it’s important that those commercial vessels are able to get in and out.

Read more:
Russian submarines tracked by the British Royal Navy in the North Sea

“And so for the Ukrainian Navy to be able to search the seabed on its own and understand exactly where the threats lie is important to what they are doing.”

Although the training was short, he said the sailors were extremely active and learned quickly.

“Their enthusiasm and energy level to be able to both learn and understand these abilities is truly remarkable.

“The fact that they know what this ability will bring them back home is what motivates them and so to work with them, and to have the opportunity to work with them, is a real privilege.”

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Russia’s cynical attempts to keep the world’s food supply to a ransom are not allowed to succeed.

“This vital equipment and training will help Ukraine make their waters safe, help smooth the flow of grain to the rest of the world, and support the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they seek to defend themselves. its shores and ports.”

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