The Russian Defense Ministry on Monday, May 6, published a video on social media that allegedly showed the destruction of a Ukrainian USV equipped with an R-73 anti-aircraft missile. The video shows the Russian army firing from a Ka-29 helicopter, onto the sea drone and seemingly hitting the rocket, which detonates.

The video was filmed from sea level, possibly from a ship or the shore.

The footage shows the appearance of a superstructure on board the Ukrainian maritime drone that resembles the Soviet R-73 air-to-air missile, according to the Militarny defense issues website.

The R-73 is a short-range air-to-air missile, but it can also be launched from ground-based installations. It does not require radar or other systems to guide it, as it has its own thermal homing head, which has a wide field of view of up to 75 degrees.

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The launcher incorporates rails for two missiles. It is highly likely that it has been modified to rotate and to help keep it stable by compensating for pitching and roll at sea. It is not clear whether the inclusion of the missile system is to better defend the USV or to give it an enhanced attack capability.

However, installing anti-aircraft missiles on a marine drone is a challenging task. An example is that seawater is a rather aggressive environment, and that is why naval anti-aircraft missiles are usually containerized.

The Kyiv Post contacted Ukrainian military intelligence to seek confirmation of move to arm sea drones with anti-aircraft missiles, but they declined to comment.

Russia Launches Overnight Missile Attack Against Ukraine, Multiple Regions Targeted
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Russia Launches Overnight Missile Attack Against Ukraine, Multiple Regions Targeted

The Ukrainian Air Force reported on the morning of May 30 that air defense units had intercepted 33 Shahed drones and 7 out of 11 launched cruise missiles overnight.

Yesterday, May 6, special forces of Military Intelligence of Ukraine (HUR) hit a Russian Project 12150 “Mangust” speedboat, valued at around $3million using a Magura V5 maritime strike drone close to occupied Crimea.

What is MAGURA V5?

Developed in Ukraine, the MAGURA V5 unmanned surface vessel is capable of performing a variety of seaborne operations, including surveillance, reconnaissance, patrolling and combat missions.

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Thanks to its hydrodynamic hull and maneuverability, the V5 exhibits quasi-stealth capabilities.

It is 5.5 meters long, 1.5 meters wide, has a cruising speed of 40.7 kilometers per hour, a maximum speed of 77.8 kilometers per hour, with a range of about 833 kilometers.

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