Ukraine conflict: Ukraine reports sinking two Russian patrol ships during UAV strike

by Kate Tringham

The Russian Navy operates a fleet of 17 Project 03160 Raptor fast patrol boats. (Nikolai Novichkov)

Ukraine claims that it has sunk two Russian Navy patrol ships during an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) strike on 2 May.

Video footage released by the Armed Forces of Ukraine on its official Twitter account shows what appears to be a Ukrainian Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) striking two Russian Navy Project 03160 Raptor-class fast patrol boats in the Black Sea. The footage, dated 2 May, shows the successful engagement of the first boat at 0438 h local time, and the second at 0451 h local time.

In a statement accompanying the video, Ukrainian armed forces commander-in-chief General Valery Zaluzhny, said, “Two Raptor boats were destroyed at dawn today near Snake Island”, which is located roughly 70 n miles south of Odessa. Although both boats appeared to be hit in the video, it is not clear from the footage whether they sank.

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has not yet commented on the claims.

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India marks first landing of naval light combat aircraft, MiG-29K, on INS Vikrant

by Ridzwan Rahmat

India's naval LCA conducting its maiden landing on INS Vikrant . (Ministry of Defence, India)

India has marked another milestone in its effort to operationalise the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant with the first landings of a naval light combat aircraft (LCA) and MiG-29K fighter on the ship.

The milestone was achieved by the Indian Navy on 6 February as part of the vessel's aviation trials, the country's Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in a media release on the same day.

Vikrant is India's first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier, and it was commissioned by the Indian Navy in September 2022. The vessel joins another aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which was inducted by the service in 2013.

Since December 2022, Vikrant has been undergoing various operations with rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft as part of air certification and flight integration processes, said the MoD in its release.

The naval LCA, which is also referred to in-country as the LCA (Navy), is a carrierborne variant of India's single-engine delta-winged Tejas multirole light fighter.

The airframe that landed on Vikrant

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Update: UK's first future subsea surveillance ship arrives in Merseyside for conversion

by Kate Tringham & Richard Scott

The UK's newly acquired future Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance ship sails into Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead, Liverpool, on 19 January. (Royal Navy)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has purchased a second-hand commercial offshore patrol vessel from P&O Maritime Logistics' subsidiary Topaz Energy and Marinefor conversion into a specialist ship dedicated to protecting the country's critical subsea infrastructure.

The vessel, which is currently named MV Topaz Tangaroa, arrived at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Merseyside, for refitting on 19 January.

Topaz Tangaroa will be converted into the first of two plannedMulti-Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) ships for underwater surveillance and seabed warfare, to be operated by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA). According to the MoD, the vessel will be formally handed over to control of the RFA in the coming days. Following the completion of its conversion activities, the vessel is planned to join the fleet around mid-2023.

Topaz Tangaroa, which will be renamed for the RFA service, was built by

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Irish Naval Service opts to mothball Roisin-class OPVs due to manning issues

by Kate Tringham

The Irish Naval Service has decided to place its two 1,700 tonne Róisín (PV 80)-class OPVs into operational reserve as a result of ongoing staffing shortages. (Irish Navy)

The Irish Naval Service (INS) has been forced to mothball its two Róisín (PV 80)-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as a result of ongoing recruitment and retention issues.

An Irish Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson confirmed to Janes that LÉ Róisín (P 51) was placed into operational reserve with effect from 31 January and that LÉ Niamh (P 52) would be placed into operational reserve on the completion of its mid-life upgrade (MLU) later this year.

“The decision to place LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh into operational reserve is aimed at stabilising operational delivery and assisting in the Naval Service regeneration, which entails the prioritisation of personnel training and development of existing INS personnel,” the spokesperson said. “LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh will remain in operational reserve until such time as the Naval Service has sufficiently regenerated suitably qualified and experienced personnel.”

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Ukraine claims that it has sunk two Russian Navy patrol ships during an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV...

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