Rosoboronexport, part of Russia’s Rotsec state company for arms exports, are showcasing uncrewed motorboats as autonomous surface vessels for the first time, from June 19 to 23 at Fleet-2024 in St Petersburg. 

Russia’s autonomous uncrewed vehicle, the MMT-300, and the uncrewed motorboats Vizir, Orkan, and BEK-100 will be demonstrated to international customers for the first time at the maritime defence show. 

Russian defence companies have developed the uncrewed motorboats in response to global trends on planning military operations, according to Alexander Mikheev, director general of Rosoboronexport. 

“We will offer foreign partners to cooperate in building network-centric systems with integrated unmanned motor boats and autonomous unmanned vehicles, as well as in introducing the over-the-horizon operation concept using Russian robotic systems,” said Mikheev.

Mikheev describes the boats as being capable of carrying “various payloads”.

Uncrewed motorboats have played a significant role in the war in Ukraine, with the platforms playing a significant role in the 23 successful attacks that have damaged or sunk Russian ships since the beginning of the invasion.

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In the Spring of 2024, Ukrainian officials reported that one third of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet had been destroyed, causing a retreat, and rendering the fleet inoperable.

Russian military exports plummeting

Russian arms exports have plummeted since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, with France snatching the mantle of the world’s number two global arms exporter in March 2024, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

SIPRI found that compared with the period between 2014-2018, Russia’s arms exports halved in the period 2019-2023, falling by 53%. While Russia exported major arms to 31 states in 2019, in 2023 this number fell to 12.  

Rosoboronexport will also be showcasing the Rubezh-ME coastal missile system, and the Klavesin-1RE underwater robotic system. 

A new export configuration for the corvette Tiger will be demonstrated with a Zaslon multifunctional radar system.

Among platforms Rosoboronexport describe as having “high export potential”, the company will showcase the Karakurt-E class corvette, Tornado-class fast attack guided missile craft, Project 11711 large amphibious assault ship, Project BK-16E landing craft and Project BK-10 special-purpose craft, and the Project 636 and Project Amur-1650 diesel-electric submarines