Ukraine needs to build up its forces at sea: the expert named goals and objectives

One of the patrol boats donated by Estonia. Photo: Ukrainian Navy

Ukraine must build up its surface fleet; it cannot rely only on sea drones. In particular, the country needs small boats to conduct sea patrols and other tasks. This opinion was expressed on the FREEDOM TV channel by Captain 1st Rank, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Navy (2004-2020) Andriy Ryzhenko.

According to him, the Ukrainian fleet must carry out tasks in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

“This area is very small, shallow. Here we need to complete two main operational tasks. One is called Sea control – this is control of a sea area, and the second – Sea denial – is preventing the enemy from entering this area so that he can launch missile strikes, block shipping, and so on. This problem can be solved by using small platforms, boats up to 50 meters, on which were the same weapons as on medium and large class ships – cruise missiles, possibly torpedoes, artillery, air defense systems. Technology makes it possible to do this because weapons are now very compact. These small boats can be transported to our coasts without the Bosphorus Strait, that is, by other means of transport,” Ryzhenko explained.

He noted that Estonia recently transferred two small patrol boats to Ukraine, which were named “Irpen” and “Reni”.

“We really need boats that can carry out patrols, possibly carry out mine action, land anti-sabotage groups on islands, spits, and so on. As far as I know, the maritime coalition that has now been formed under British leadership is helping to strengthen our maritime forces and capabilities in precisely this direction. In the future, I think there should be more missile boats that would increase the strike effect, because now our coastal systems can shoot up to the Crimea,” the expert believes.

Ryzhenko added that one cannot rely only on sea drones; they can only be auxiliary tools.

“We now need to think about the future, how to free the waters of our sovereignty – this is the northwestern part of the Black Sea, bring back the entire lost sea coast under control, and then think about how to protect the interests of the country further. Our economy is focused on exports and imports, and 90% of such transactions are carried out by sea, and these areas need to be protected. Therefore, we must now think about everything as a whole,” he concluded.

Read also: EU at OSCE: Path to peace in Ukraine lies in withdrawal of Russian troops

Let us remind you that the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine adopted two patrol boats provided by Estonia.