Sea Baby: Ukraine’s multifunctional naval drone surprises Russian forces

 25. 05. 2024      Category: Naval forces

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has transformed the Sea Baby from a simple drone into a multifunctional combat platform, delivering new surprises to Russian forces. This advanced unmanned naval vessel has not only been instrumental in sinking numerous ships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet but is now also being deployed for targeted strikes on Russian positions on the Kinburn Spit.

Picture: Modified Sea Baby naval drone | United24 - U24.GOV.UA

Advanced capabilities and recent deployments

The Sea Baby has been equipped with Grad 122mm multiple rocket launchers, marking a significant upgrade in its offensive capabilities. These rocket-equipped drones were recently used on May 20 against Russian positions on the Kinburn Spit, a strategic location controlling the entry to the Dnipro and Bug rivers into the Black Sea. This area is crucial for controlling access to the port city of Mykolaiv​.

An unnamed source from the SBU stated, "Sea Baby is not just a drone; it is a multifunctional platform that continues to improve. Today we can confirm that multiple rocket launchers have been mounted. This technological solution has already shown impressive results." The SBU’s continued innovation in drone technology is a testament to their strategic ingenuity and effectiveness in modern warfare​.

Strategic importance of the Kinburn Spit

The Kinburn Spit is a vital location for controlling maritime access to the Dniprovskiy Gulf, which is the gateway to both the Bug and Dnipro rivers. Control over this region is crucial as it directly influences the operational capabilities in the Black Sea and the access to the strategic port of Mykolaiv. Recent Russian attacks on Ochakiv, located opposite the Kinburn Spit, with Shahed 131/136 drones, highlight the ongoing struggle for dominance in this area​.

Technological superiority and cost efficiency

The Sea Baby drones are a point of pride for Ukraine, showcasing their advanced technological prowess. These drones can carry nearly a ton of explosives and have a range of over 1000 kilometers, capable of hitting targets anywhere in the Black Sea. This new generation of drones has been developed with the collaboration of experts from the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs and other partners. During the Russian invasion, Sea Baby drones have successfully struck several Russian vessels and the Crimean Bridge, significantly impacting Russian naval operations​.

Artem Dekhtyarenko, a spokesperson for the SBU, emphasized the cost-efficiency of these drones: "A drone costing $8.5 million can destroy a warship worth several tens of millions of dollars." He highlighted that in 2022, Ukrainian naval drones like the Sea Baby had no global competition due to their superior maneuverability and lower detectability by enemy radar systems compared to their Western counterparts​.


The evolution of the Sea Baby drone from a simple kamikaze unit to a sophisticated multifunctional platform illustrates Ukraine's innovative approach to modern warfare. Its deployment in the Black Sea and the strategic targeting of Russian positions underscore its importance in Ukraine's defense strategy. As the conflict continues, the Sea Baby represents a significant technological and tactical advantage for Ukraine, continually surprising and challenging Russian forces.

 Author: Lucas Kingsley