Russia's Kingisepp Machine Building Plant (KMZ) in St Petersburg has unveiled the Dandelion (Oduvanchik), a high-speed unmanned Surface Ship (AUSV). the Dandelion stands for "High-speed unmanned carrier boat". Renowned for producing ships for Russian law enforcement agencies and marine drones, KMZ has reportedly received an order from the Russian Ministry of Defence for 10 Dandelion drones, intended for direct testing in the combat zone against Ukraine, as reported by Ukrayinska Pravda.
The Dandelion is anticipated to be a water-based kamikaze drone designed to attack surface objects, mainly static targets like bridges and harbours. KMZ officials disclosed that Dandelion can carry warheads or payloads weighing up to 600 kg. For comparison, the Ukrainian SeaBaby drone, which crashed into the Crimean Bridge in July 2023, was laden with 850 kilograms of explosives. Notably, the Dandelion boasts a range of 200 km and speeds up to 80 km/h. If launched from Crimea, it could target Odesa. Additionally, there's speculation that Dandelion may be deployable from a warship.
This unveiling follows KMZ's showcase of a smaller water surface kamikaze drone at the Army-2023 military-technical forum last August. The introduction of the Dandelion marks a leap in Russia's unmanned naval capabilities, raising concerns about the evolving landscape of modern warfare.