Ukraine's unmanned sea drones pose a major threat to the Russian navy, defence expert says

Watch: Ukrainian Naval drones are a danger to Russian naval assets, says expert (Picture: Ukrainian MOD).

Ukraine is putting the Russian Navy under great stress and inflicting heavy damage to naval assets without endangering its own sailors, a defence expert has told Forces News.

Videos have been shared on social media showing what appear to be attacks launched by Ukrainian unmanned surface vehicles (USVs).

Samuel Bendett, a Russia advisor at the Centre for Naval Analyses has said the Ukrainian attacks are putting more and more stress on Russian defences around their naval assets.

Samuel said: "Ukraine has taken advantage of a very interesting situation that has developed in the black sea.

"A lot of the Russian naval assets are actually in port. They're not very active in terms of conducting missions across the Black Sea.

"So, the decision was made to target these assets in port with technologies such as unmanned surface vessels.

"Technologies that do not cost as much as a naval vessel, even a small one, technologies that do not require a large crew to operate it, and technologies that do not place a human operator or sailor in danger when conducting missions against Russian naval facilities.

"Probably a significant amount of intelligence was also conducted by the Ukrainian military to determine the level of threat, the level of defences, the level of technologies present in these Russian ports and facilities to defend against."

According to Mr Bendett, the cost of creating attack drones by Ukraine is often "considerably less" than the damage they can inflict on Russian assets.

The weapons can also carry up to 400 kilograms of explosives and inflict significant damage despite not necessarily being "very expensive" or "sophisticated".

Watch: Footage purports to show Ukrainian drone boat attack on Russian warship.

Throughout the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, drone warfare has been used by both sides and videos of their effects have circulated on social media.

This week air defences in Moscow have been attacked by two drones, according to the Russian Defence Ministry.

In August this year, Ukraine released night-time footage of a drone apparently striking the Russian Olenegorsky Gornyak landing vessel, and detonating 450kg of TNT as it hit.

Mr Bendett added: "Russia launches helicopters and aircraft to look for these USVs as we have seen in previous attacks on Russian ports.

"Russia set up nets and other systems to prevent the movement of these USVs and to make it difficult for them to reach the target.

"It does require a different level of training. It does require Russian vessels to constantly be on alert for these types of threats.

"It is important how these vessels actually get to their target. It is likely they traverse the open Black Sea using satellite navigations when the USVs are actually close to the target.

"When it's actually in sight of the Russian vessels or port facilities, the operator takes over to guide the USV to target and we can actually see the Ukrainian videos, and Russian videos showing these boats changing direction to get a better angle of attack."

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