The war between Russia and Ukraine has lasted for nearly 6 months, but the two sides are still fighting on the ground, and there is no possibility for an immediate ending of the war, and the Russian and Ukrainian Forces are preparing themselves for a long term conflict. Russian Airborne Troops and the Army of Chechen has performed well and left an impressive performance on the war. However, among the thousands of Russian troops participating in the war, the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, has become the focus of the world’s attention because it has been repeatedly hit hard during this conflict. So, what is the current status of this fleet?
On April 15, the Slava-class guided-missile cruiser “Moskva”, which was the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet at that time, was hit by the Ukrainian “Neptune” anti-ship missiles at night. The fire caused by the explosion severely damaged the 12,000-ton ship that had been in service for nearly 40 years and eventually sank under the influence of wind and rain at sea.
At that time, the sinking of the “Moskva” was a shock for the russian navy. Countless people felt unbelievable that this cruiser, which symbolized the glory of the Soviet Navy and was also the absolute backbone of the Russian Navy, was easily sunk. When everything was finally confirmed, this disbelief turned into a question about the strength of the Russian Black Sea Fleet?
The sinking of the Moskva was a big disappointment for the russian navy. Recently on July 31, on the day of the Russian Navy Memorial Day, a drone mounted with an improvised explosive device attacked the Russian Black Sea Fleet Command. After the explosion, shards of glass splattered and injured 6 Russian soldiers, of which 2 people were badly injured.
When the international media questioned the combat effectiveness of the Russian air defense forces, further investigation showed that the drone attacking the command was just a small four-axis drone, equipped with a very simple explosive device, and hit the target after a short flight, which means that the Ukrainian army or the armed forces supporting the Ukrainian army have penetrated deep inside the Russian military bases.
On the afternoon of August 9, the aviation station of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Saki Airport, suffered continuous violent explosions. According to the information shown in the satellite pictures after the incident, about 10 Su-30SM and some Su-24M fighter jets equipped by the 43rd Independent Aviation Regiment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet were completely destroyed in the explosion, and the explosion caused excessive damage to other weapons, ammunition and airport facilities. The direct economic losses caused by this attack exceeded 500 million US dollars.
After the explosion, the international media had various speculations about the cause of the explosion, but it was still to be confirmed. It was not until CNN wrote an article on the 17th that the international media realized that the Ukrainian army used drones to mount explosives and attacked the Russian Saki airfield. As for the serious consequences of the explosion (three large pits with a diameter of more than 22 meters were left on the airport), the main reason was that the Russian logistics had placed a large amount of ammunition directly on the ground, which was detonated by the explosives carried by the drone, which is very similar to what happened on the first three aircraft carriers of the Japanese aircraft carrier groups which were sunk in the Battle of Midway in 1942.
Even after the second drone attack, the Russian army still did not made a strong counterattack. On the 16th, an ammunition depot and another airport in the Crimean Peninsula of the Russian Black Sea Fleet were attacked by drones again, causing the ammunition depot to explode. The specific loss is unknown. The Russian side responded this time. According to Russian media reports, Russian security forces captured some armed men who supported the Ukrainian army after the explosion. But the embarrassing scene was staged again on the 20th. A drone carrying explosives again attacked the Russian Black Sea Fleet Command, and finally hit the roof and exploded, causing no casualties. This is the fourth time that the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s military facility in the Crimean Peninsula has been attacked by drones recently. Considering the coverage of Russian military facilities, the actual number of attacks may be much higher than this number.
Since the sinking of the Slava-class Cruiser Moskva, the Russian Black Sea Fleet suffered a series of losses, among which there are many factors, such as a large number of outdated equipments that has still not been upgraded, the quality of personnel needs to be improved, etc.
The information-based battlefield preparation of the Russian Military is seriously insufficient, and the most obvious one is the attack and defense of drones. Before the war between the two sides, the world had high expectations from the equipments and tactical level planning of the Russian army.
The Russian Military is still far better behind in the development of drones and their air defense systems are also not able to stop continuous drone attacks from the Ukrainian side. Ukraine has easily achieved the effect of causing the Russian Navy to lose 500 million US dollars with a drone worth only 5,000 US dollars.