Ukrainian media platform pravda.ua reports that Sea Baby USV opened fire at Russian boats attempting to intercept it with what seems to be a rocket. The trajectory suggests that the missile is unguided.
Ukraine’s attacks with USVs have mainly consisted of small and agile kamikaze USVs sent towards Russian warships and naval bases in the region. Small size and agility make them difficult to intercept with guns using automated tracking. For this reason, kamikaze USVs have become a field to invest in for countries working on USVs and a problem to solve at the same time.
The addition of rockets as a self-defence measure at close range against interceptor boats would add a risk factor to the defending side despite the low accuracy of rockets. Said risk shouldn’t be underestimated because most small boats in the region have to get into gun range, which can be considered dangerously close to intercepting USVs.
The incident paved the way for other possibilities for the future, where Ukraine might develop USVs carrying guided missiles such as Stugna-P ATGM, widely used by the Ukrainian Army against Russian armoured vehicles, boats and helicopters. This missile is among the most likely options owing to the remote use capability of the launcher unit, making integration easier.