UK to provide underwater drones to help Ukraine demine sea coast

27 August, 04:52 PM
Britain will provide three drones from its own stocks, and buy another three (Photo:Ministry of Defence)

Britain will provide three drones from its own stocks, and buy another three (Photo:Ministry of Defence)

The UK is to give Ukraine six underwater drones to help it demine its coast and ensure it is safe for ships to export Ukrainian grain, Sky News reported on Aug. 27.

The UK Ministry of Defense announced that the British Navy is currently teaching Ukrainian sailors to use underwater mine-detecting drones. Around a dozen Ukrainian servicemen have already completed the three-week course, and dozens more are to be trained in the coming months. The UK will provide three drones from its own stocks, and will purchase three more.

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The drones are designed to operate in shallow coastal waters at depths of up to 100 meters. They survey the bottom of the sea using sonar to locate mines.

According to one of the Ukrainian sailors interviewed by Sky News, the drones will be needed to clean up the sea, “especially in the very critical region near Odesa.”

Sky News said under the current circumstances, it could take a decade to completely clear the Ukrainian coastline of mines.

UK Admiral Alan West said the underwater drones would be "a game changer for the Ukrainian Navy" by clearing the main route of ports for further exports.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the first million tons of agricultural products from the Ukrainian seaports of Chornomorsk, Odesa and Pivdennyi have been exported after a month of work of the grain export deal. According to him, Ukraine aims to reach an export level of three million tons of grain per month.

During a visit to Kyiv on Aug. 24, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new £54 million military aid package for Ukraine. It includes drones and anti-tank munitions.

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