On the morning of April 2, 2022 The General Staff of the Armed Forces announced a successful use of the Bayraktar TB2 UAV against Russian high-speed patrol boats of project 03160 Raptor near the famous Zmiinyi Island. Both targets were destroyed. Bayraktar worked on boats from 7 and 6.6 km, respectively.
Why is this important? First of all, it’s beautiful. Second, the battles near Zmiinyi Island are an important part of the defense of the south of Ukraine: Russian troops are trying to deploy anti-aircraft and radar systems on the Snake Battery, which will complicate the resistance to the transfer of Russian troops to Transnistria. Third, until the British Brimstone or AGM/RGM/UGM-84 Harpoon, the ingenuity of the Armed Fores of Ukraine soldiers in destroying naval targets is inspiring and impressive. And fourth, although Raptor boats are, of course, not Moskva, the destruction of boats slightly equates the account of losses of the Navy, which so far was not in favor of Ukraine, if we talk about the number of destroyed targets.
According to Oryx, since February 24, 2022, Russia has lost only 4 ships, 2 of which were destroyed and 2 damaged. The two destroyed ships are the missile cruiser Moskva and the large landing ship Saratov, which was destroyed in the port of Berdyansk. The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provides other data – 8 ruscist ships and boats, without specifying the types.
Unfortunately, the losses of the Ukrainian Navy in quantitative terms are much worse. Oryx writes about 4 destroyed ships and boats, counting the flagship Hetman Sahaidachny frigate sunk in Mykolaiv. 13 Ukrainian patrol boats captured by ruscists. The destruction of the two Raptors allows, as they say, to equalize the score. This is important because the loss of ships was almost the only category to which the Armed Forces were inferior.
Russian patrol boats of the project 03160 Raptor can carry up to 20 people and are armed with a heavy machine gun module Uprava-Cord with a 14.5 mm machine gun KPVT, which can adjust the fire to the target movement and other external factors, plus two 7.62 mm Pecheneg machine guns. Boats have a range of up to 300 miles (555 km) economically. The maximum speed is 48 knots (88 km/h), or 28 knots at a wave height of 2.5 m or 20 knots at a wave height of 4.5 m. Raptor boats have been arriving in the Russian Navy since 2015, in total 14 units were built.