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August 29, 2022

British Navy trains Ukrainian personnel to operate uncrewed drones

The Ukrainian Navy is being trained to clear coastline of mines.

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Divers from the UK Royal Navy (RN) is providing training to several Ukrainian Navy personnel on the use of advanced crewless mine hunting vehicles.

This comes in line with the UK’s plan to donate a total of six underwater drones to Ukraine.

The training is being carried out in the UK and will teach Ukrainian personnel on how to clear coastline of mines.

Alongside RN’s divers, the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet and Diving & Threat Exploitation Group will also provide a three-week training course.

The first tranche of training has already commenced and will continue over the coming months.

As part of the training, the Ukrainian personnel will learn how to operate vehicles for searching large seabed areas for mines and unexploded ordnance, without harming operators.

Additionally, the training involves launch and recovery of the devices at sea, along with interpreting the data sent back to identify mock mines.

The Ukrainian sailors will also receive training for operating Sandown-class minehunters.

UK RN first sea lord admiral Sir Ben Key said: “Through expert skills being taught here, our Ukrainian allies will be able to clear their own waters of mines.

“This training is another powerful demonstration of UK’s ongoing commitment to Ukraine in their fight to defend their country and repel Russian aggression.”

Operating effectively at depths of around 100m, the lightweight autonomous vehicle can locate, detect and identify mines using a wide range of sensors. It is designed for shallow coastal environments.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “This vital equipment and training will help Ukraine make their waters safe, helping to smooth flow of grain to the rest of world and supporting Armed Forces of Ukraine as they look to defend their coastline and ports.”

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