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Ukraine rebuilds navy with combat boats from US aid package

The Russian and a Ukrainian flag fly on March 8, 2014 in the port of Sevastopol. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said its monitors would try again to enter Ukraine's Crimea region on March 8, two days after they were prevented from doing so. On March 6, the Vienna-based OSCE said its team had been prevented from entering Ukraine's strategically important Black Sea peninsula, with a Western diplomatic source telling AFP they had been turned back by gunmen. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

A Russian and a Ukrainian flag fly in the port of Sevastopol in 2014. (Photo: FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

TBILISI, Georgia —- One of the largest fleets in the world was fought by the Ukrainian Navy in the early months of the Russian invasion. Since February 24, Russia has dominated the waterways surrounding Ukraine’s east and south coasts. In eight months, the Russian military has strategically secured ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, both of which surround Sea of ​​Azov.

But it seems that Ukraine has rebuilt its navy with the help of the US. In June, the Department of Defense announced it would send 18 “coastal and river patrol boats” as part of the $450 million military aid package. It included two small 35-foot units river craft; six 40-foot sea combat boats; and 10 Dauntless Sea Ark 34 feet patrol boats.

Ukrainian border guards patrol the Azov Sea off the city of Mariupol on April 30, 2021. (Photo by Aleksey Filippov/AFP) (Photo by ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian border guards patrol the Azov Sea off the city of Mariupol on April 30, 2021. (Photo by ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP via Getty Images)

“This will be helpful for the Ukrainians to … defend Odessa and other positions along the Black Sea coast,” a senior defense official said at a Pentagon briefing.

The ships are small and are not intended to compete directly on the open sea with warships like the Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea flagship, which Ukrainian forces destroyed with a missile attack earlier in the war. But the combat boats can conduct coastal and river operations.

Russian naval officers line up on the deck as the guided missile cruiser Moskva (Moscow) sails back to a port after pursuing NATO warships in the Black Sea at the port of Sevastopol in Crimea November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak

Russian naval officers line up on the deck as the guided missile cruiser Moskva (Moscow) sails back to a port after pursuing NATO warships in the Black Sea at the port of Sevastopol in Crimea November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak

Are tired Ukrainian Navy Captain Andrii Ryzhenko told Yahoo News that any boat can be equipped with machine guns and grenade launchers. “This means that they can mainly be used for combat with boats of a similar size, but not with large combat ships,” said Ryzhenko from Ukraine.

According to reports, some of the combat boats are already patrolling the Black Sea. Images posted on a Ukrainian defense news site appear to show US “Defiant” 40-foot boats.

Ukrainian marines watch a Russian ship floating out of Sevastopol Bay March 4, 2014. The commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet Aleksandr Vitko has issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian military personnel in Crimea, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported. Ukraine on March 3 accused Russia of sending more troops to Crimea as world leaders grappled with Europe's worst since the Cold War standoff and Moscow's market collapsed on fears of a full-scale conflict. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV (Photo credit should read VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian marines look at a Russian ship in Sevastopol Bay March 4, 2014. (Photo: VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Designed by Louisiana-based Metal Shark, the 40 Defiant was designed to “address the weaknesses of traditional patrol boats” while delivering “significant increases in capability and firepower.”

The latest additions to the Navy will be a boost for Ukraine’s ability to defend its ports and waterways. If Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula In 2014 it took over one of the most important ports in Ukraine. At least 75% of the Ukrainian fleet was captured of Russia, according to Defense News. Ukraine was forced to start rebuilding its navy.

In the coming months, Kyiv is expected to get another 22 boats – 40 boats in total, Ryzhenko said.

https://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-rebuilds-navy-with-combat-boats-from-us-aid-package-091251414.html Ukraine rebuilds navy with combat boats from US aid package

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