Russian blogger claims capture of intact Ukrainian Magura V5 USV

According to Military Informant on November 22, 2023, it is claimed that Russian soldiers captured on the western coast of Crimea an intact Ukrainian Magura V5 Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV), a USV frequently used by Ukraine in kamikaze attacks against ships from the Russian Black Sea Fleet. This incident could mark the second known instance of Russia obtaining a Ukrainian USV, with the first one discovered off the coast of Sevastopol in September 2022.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 A model of the Ukrainian Magura V5 Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) was displayed at the IDEF 2023 exhibition. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

Both the Ukrainian and Russian defense ministries have not officially commented on this alleged capture. If confirmed, this capture could potentially enhance Russia's ability to counter the Ukrainian Magura V5 USV, known for its surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and influence the development of their own unmanned surface vessels.

The Magura V5 is primarily designed for surveillance, reconnaissance, and mine warfare, offering advantages such as reduced personnel risk and operational cost savings. With dimensions of 5.5 m in length, 1.5 m in width, and 0.5 m in height above the waterline, the V5 can achieve speeds of up to 22 knots cruising and 42 knots maximum, covering a range of 450 nautical miles. Its load capacity of 320 kg allows for various payloads, and it employs connectivity options like mesh radio with an air-based repeater or satellite communications (SatCom) for reliable communication during operations.

The circumstances surrounding the capture are speculated to be linked to the recent 'Bettina' storm, a powerful weather event that caused widespread damage in southern Russia and Ukraine. This storm resulted in power outages, fatalities, hospitalizations, and evacuations, with the Crimean Peninsula declaring emergency conditions and reporting water and heating shortages in the Chernomorske area.

Beyond the immediate human and infrastructure impact, the storm has raised concerns among Russian military bloggers about potential long-term consequences for Russian defenses.

The destruction caused by the storm could compromise defensive lines and trenches in Crimea, affecting air defenses and radars. This aftermath might create vulnerabilities for Russia, potentially allowing Ukraine to exploit new vulnerabilities in Russian defenses, as the full extent of the damage and the storm's implications on military operations is yet to be fully assessed.

Russia Magura V5 USV Ukraine 925 002

A picture, shared by a Russian military blogger, allegedly depicts an intact Magura V5 USV captured by Russian soldiers. (Picture source: Telegram/Military Informant)