Ukraine is crowdfunding a naval drone fleet
Fresh off a surprise drone swarm attack on the Russian military’s Black Sea fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, Ukraine wants to double down on its use of naval drones — and it’s turning to an unusual sourcing method to do so.
The Ukrainian government wants to crowdfund enough money to buy 100 uncrewed surface vessels (USVs), which cost roughly $274,000 a piece.
“I am sure that millions of people will support this important area of Ukraine’s defence,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his message on United24, a crowdfunding campaign the Ukrainian government set up after the invasion began in February. “Everyone has already seen how it works.”
That last bit is key. The Oct. 29 attack featured both aerial and naval drones, launched in a multi-pronged assault on the Russian military’s Black Sea fleet. Footage from Sevastopol and the drones themselves showed the USVs dodging Russian fire. At least one Russian warship, the…