UKRAINE CAPTURED A RADAR DURING A DARING OIL PLATFORM ASSAULT THAT IT’S NOW USING TO TRACK RUSSIAN WARSHIPS, COMMANDOS SAY
November 29, 2023
Ukrainian special forces say they’ve captured quite a few “trophies” during their daring amphibious raids of Russian oil platforms, according to a new report. One such prize is a sophisticated long-range radar that Ukraine is now using to track Russian warships, giving them a useful tool in the Black Sea fight.
Over the summer, Ukrainian forces with the Stugna unit launched a series of amphibious raids to liberate Russian-controlled oil and gas platforms in the Black Sea. Commandos told The War Zone that while the main goal was to regain control of the towers, they had also captured a number of other trophies, such as helicopter-launched rockets and a Neva radar system.
Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence reported the capture of the radar system in mid-September, confirming on Telegram that special forces had taken it while raiding an offshore drilling platform that had been occupied by the Russians since 2015. Ukraine’s HUR released video footage of the raids, including a small boat fight with a Russian fighter jet.
The modern Neva-B surface search radar, which Russian Telegram channels also confirmed at the time was captured by Ukrainian forces, is a state-of-the-art tracker capable of “precise detection of moving targets against clutter background,” according to the designer. It boasts a long range for larger targets, like tankers, and shorter rangers for patrol boats and can apparently capture and track up to 200 targets at the same time.
The radar was installed by the Russian Armed Forces on the tower. Now, Ukraine says it’s repurposing it to track Russian activity, Dmytro Linko, the commander of Stugna, told The War Zone.
It’s the latest information Ukraine’s military has shared about the amphibious raids its forces completed in August and September, one of the more famous missions being one on August 24, Ukrainian Independence Day. That raid into Crimea was largely symbolic and involved slipping onto the peninsula to plant the country’s flag.
The amphibious raids are just one example of Ukraine’s demonstrated ability to cause chaos far from the front lines. Throughout the war, Kyiv’s forces have attacked Russian forces in Crimea with long-range missiles and drones, while Ukrainian drone boats have terrorized Russian Black Sea Fleet ships around the peninsula.
Chris Panella is a Defense Reporter based in New York. He focuses on military, national security, and geopolitical issues. Panella’s previous bylines include USA Today, The Daily Beast, The Houston Chronicle, Film Cred, and Paste Magazine.