Mine Scare In The Black Sea

Mine damage on Musca class minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu. Photo: Dobrogea TV

On 8 September 2022, a Romanian ship reported a floating mine approximately 25 nautical miles northeast of Constanta harbour. The mine is believed to be one of the mines laid during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Romanian Naval Forces deployed Musca class minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu to destroy the mine. However, when the minesweeper arrived at the site the weather and sea conditions worsened. With a wind speed of 10 – 12 m/s and wave height of 1.5 – 2 meters, the minesweeper was not able to deploy the RHIB with the EOD team on board. At night the mine swept through the storm and hit the ship on her astern port side.

According to Romanian Naval Forces, the detonation created a small hole, at the water line. The damage appears to be limited though there had been some ingress through the hole. the 75-strong crew on board has not suffered any injuries.

The minesweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu returned to her homeport Constanta with the help of the navy tugs Grozavul and Viteazu, that provided assistance and research against the mines.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine 30 mines have been found and destroyed in the Black Sea. Here is the list of them

Date Mines Location Country Action
26.03.2022 1 Anchorage area Türkeli north of Bosphorus Turkey Turkish navy EOD teams dragged the mine to their Exercise area near the northern entrance of the Bosphorus and destroyed it.
28.03.2022 1 Off the shore of İğneada town Turkey Turkish navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
28.03.2022 1 39 nautical miles off the Black Sea, across from Capu Midia Romania Romanian navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
6.04.2022 1 Off the shore of Kefken town Turkey Turkish navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
6.04.2022 1 Crimean shore Russia Mine washed ashore on an unspecified Crimean beach.
30.06.2022 1 27 nautical miles east of the mouth of the Kamchia river Bulgaria Bulgarian naval EOD team neutralised the mine in location.
31.07.2022 1 2 nautical miles off Eforie town Romania Romanian navy EOD teams neutralised the mine in location.
8.09.2022 1 25 nautical miles northeast of Constanta harbour Romania Romanian Navy mine sweeper Lieutenant Dimitrie Nicolescu was damaged when the mine could not be neutralised by EOD teams due to bad weather
1.07.2022 22 Ukrainian coast Ukraine 20 mines were destroyed by Ukrainian forces. Locations and dates are unknown.

As always any corrections or additions to the list above are welcomed.

Ships Lost, Damaged Or Seized During The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Part 3)

It’s been six months since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. I have been trying to keep a list the of damage and losses to the ships, since the start of the invasion.

The list below is the list of the ships that have been damaged, sunk or seized since 24 February 2022.

I welcome any additions, changes or corrections.

Date Ship Type Country Event and Location Losses
24.02.2022 Yasa Jupiter Civilian merchant ship Marshall Island Damage by an airstrike, off the coast of Odessa No losses
25.02.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Damage from artillery fire by Russian warships 12nm off Yuzny port 2 injured
26.02.2022 Namura Queen Civilian merchant ship Panama Damage by an airstrike, location unknown 1 injured
26.02.2022 Sapfir Civilian merchant ship Ukraine Seized by the Russians on Snake Island No losses
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
3.03.2022 Banglar Samriddhi Civilian merchant ship Ukraine Airstrike near Yuzny Unknown
3.03.2022 Slovyansk Island Patrol boat Bangladesh Damage by a missile hit near Olvia port 1 dead
4.03.2022 Helt Civilian merchant ship Panama Claimed to have been struck by a mine off the coast of Odessa No losses
4.03.2022 Hetman Sahaydachniy Krivak III class frigate Ukraine Scuttled at the pier by her own crew in Mykolaiv No losses
14.03.2022 Akkerman Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Arabat Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-108 Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-14 UMS 1000 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-24 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-308 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-310 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-311 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Korets Sorum class tug Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Vyshhorod Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
21.03.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit with an anti-tank missile, in the Sea of Azov, towed back Unknown
24.03.2022 Novocherkassk Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire; sank in Berdiansk port Unknown
24.03.2022 Ruşen Mete Civilian merchant ship Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 8 injured
24.03.2022 Saratov Alligator class LST Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 3 dead, 2 injured
24.03.2022 Tsezar Kunikov Ropucha class LST Sierra Leone Fire damage from the explosion in Berdiansk port Unknown
30.03.2022 Preyaslav Project 1824B intelligence vessel Ukraine Ukrainian intelligence vessel, hit by Russian special forces and artillery, in Dyneper River Unknown
5.04.2022 Azburg Civilian merchant ship Dominican Republic Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour, sunk. 1 injured
6.04.2022 Donbas Amur class repair ship Ukraine Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour. Unknown
9.04.2022 Apache Civilian merchant ship Malta Hit by Ukrainian artillery in Mariupol harbour. No losses
10.04.2022 Kremenchuk Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Mariupol No losses
11.04.2022 Smata Civilian merchant ship Liberia Seized by the Russians in the port of Mariupol No losses
13.04.2022 BG-22 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 BG-23 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Donbas Tarantul class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Moskva Slava class cruiser Russia Hit by anti-ship missiles, burned and sunk under tow At least 39
15.04.2022 Lubnia Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
15.04.2022 Meotida Damen TSHD 750 Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
18.04.2022 Tzarevna Civilian merchant ship Malta Hit by artillery in Mariupol harbour Unknown
2.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
2.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
4.05.2022 Serna LCM Project 11770 LCM Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
4.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
4.05.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit by MAM-L missile fired from TB-2 near Snake Island Unknown
1.06.2022 Brentix Civilian merchant ship Tanzania Hit by artillery in Ochakov harbour Unknown
4.06.2022 Vinnytsia Grisha class corvette Ukraine Sunk/scuttled in Ochakov harbour. Not in use since January 2021. Unknown
17.06.2022 Spasatel Vasily Bekh Project 22870 tug Russia Hit by two anti-ship missiles 10 death, 23 injured
29.06.2022 D-106 Project 1176 LCM Russia Hit a mine off the coast of Mariupol and sunk Unknown
6.07.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Hit again by Russian missiles when drifting abandoned No losses

The Keel Of The Bulgarian Corvette Laid In Varna

A model of the Hrabri. Photo: MTG Dolphin

On 17th June 2022, the keel of the first of two new Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels (MMVP) for the Bulgarian Naval Forces was laid with a ceremony. The vessel is named  Hrabri, meaning “Brave” in Bulgarian.

The procurement of modern surface combatants to meet NATO Requirements were in consideration for a long time. These new MMVP’s will replace two Pauk (Project 1241P) and one Tarantul (Project 1241.1M) class corvettes.

While the details of information such as the armament, sensors and specifications have not been made public yet according to NVL, the vessels, which are around 90 meters long, with around 2,300 tons of displacement, are based on the proven OPV 90 design from the NVL portfolio and feature an integrated Combat Management System. The Swedish company SAAB announced in December 2020 that it was going to provide the combat management system for these ships.

The ships are going to be armed with one 76mm main gun furthermore four -probably European-made- anti-ship missiles, eight VL-MICA anti-aircraft missiles in vertical launcher cells, one Rheinmetall Millenium close-in weapon station, and lightweight torpedoes are among the weapons. The MMVP’s are going to be the first ships in Bulgarian Naval forces with a flight deck and a hangar and they will be able to accommodate the AS-565MB Panther naval helicopter in Bulgarian service.

The total volume of the MMPV project is around 420 million euros. Delivery of the first vessel is scheduled for the third quarter of 2025, and the second vessel a year later. The construction of the second ship will begin in early 2023.

It was high time for Bulgaria to invest in its naval forces. These are the first new warship constructions for the Bulgarian Navy for over a century.

Today Ukrainian Armed Forces are using Switchblade loitering ammunition from the USA, CAESAR self-propelled guns from France and NLAW anti-tank missiles from the UK successful again the invading Russian forces. None of these weapons was in the Ukrainian inventory at the start of the war. Ukraine and its Allies were able to deploy these weapons, train their users efficiently and field them against the enemy in a period of mere weeks.

Unfortunately, navies do not have this type of luxury. It takes a few years to build a new warship but takes generations to establish a coherent naval fighting organization. Even if one of the Allies of Ukraine would have donated one or more warships to help bolster Ukrainian naval Forces it would take months to properly train the sailors to efficiently use all the systems on board.

It is time for investment in naval forces. If Ukraine has a more capable naval force with larger ships carrying more sting it could have been easier to arm them with alternative weapon systems to counter the Russian blockage against the Ukrainian ports.

Unlike Ukraine, Bulgaria has the luxury of being a member of NATO. While NATO membership may provide a country with a fair amount of protection and security, it is never a substitute for investing in its own armed forces.

Ships Lost, Damaged Or Seized During The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Part 2)

I have been trying to keep a list the of damage and losses to the ships, since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,

The list below is the list of the ships that have been damaged, sunk or seized since 24 February 2022.

A photo from the good days of Moskva. This image was taken in January 2016. This was the last time I have seen this ship

Date Ship Type Country Event and Location Losses
24.02.2022 Yasa Jupiter Civilian merchant ship Marshall Island Damage by an airstrike, off the coast of Odessa No losses
25.02.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Damage from artillery fire by Russian warships 12nm off Yuzny port 2 injured
26.02.2022 Namura Queen Civilian merchant ship Panama Damage by an airstrike, location unknown 1 injured
26.02.2022 Sapfir Civilian merchant ship Ukraine Seized by the Russians on Snake Island No losses
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
1.03.2022 Anonim Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
3.03.2022 Banglar Samriddhi Civilian merchant ship Bangladesh Airstrike near Yuzny Unknown
3.03.2022 Slovyansk Island Patrol boat Ukraine Damage by a missile hit near Olvia port 1 dead
4.03.2022 Helt Civilian merchant ship Panama Claimed to have been struck by a mine off the coast of Odessa No losses
4.03.2022 Hetman Sahaydachniy Krivak III class frigate Ukraine Sunk at the pier by her own crew in Mykolaiv No losses
14.03.2022 Akkerman Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Arabat Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-108 Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-14 UMS 1000 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-24 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-308 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-310 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-311 Kalkan class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Korets Sorum class tug Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Vyshhorod Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
21.03.2022 Raptor bot Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit with an anti-tank missile, in the Sea of Azov, towed back Unknown
24.03.2022 Novocherkassk Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire; damage in Berdiansk port Unknown
24.03.2022 Ruşen Mete Civilian merchant ship Sierra Leone Fire damage from the explosion in Berdiansk port 8 injured
24.03.2022 Saratov Alligator class LST Russia Explosion and fire sank in Berdiansk port 3 dead, 2 injured
24.03.2022 Tsezar Kunikov Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire; damage in Berdiansk port Unknown
30.03.2022 Preyaslav Project 1824B intelligence vessel Ukraine Ukrainian intelligence vessel, hit by Russian special forces and artillery, in Dyneper River Unknown
5.04.2022 Azburg Civilian merchant ship Dominica Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour. 1 injured
6.04.2022 Donbas Amur class repair ship Ukraine Hit by Russian artillery in Mariupol harbour, sunk Unknown
9.04.2022 Apache Civilian merchant ship Malta Hit by Ukrainian artillery in Mariupol harbour. No losses
10.04.2022 Kremenchuk Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Mariupol No losses
13.04.2022 BG-22 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 BG-23 UMS 1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Donbas Tarantul class coast guard vessel Ukraine Sunk in Mariupol harbour Unknown
13.04.2022 Moskva Slava class cruiser Russia Hit by anti-ship missiles, burned and sunk under tow At least 39

I welcome any additions, changes or corrections.

Ships Lost, Damaged Or Seized During The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (Part 1)

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have been trying to keep a list the of damage and losses to the ships.

The list below is the list of the ships that have been damaged, sunk or seized during the first month of the war.

Date Ship Type Country Event and Location Losses
24.02.2022 Yasa Jupiter Civilian merchant ship Marshall Island Damage by an airstrike, off the coast of Odessa No losses
25.02.2022 Millennial Spirit Civilian merchant ship Moldovia Damage from gun fire by Russian warships 12nm off Yuzny port 2 injured
26.02.2022 Namura Queen Civilian merchant ship Panama Damage by an airstrike, location unknown 1 injured
26.02.2022 Sapfir Civilian search and rescue ship Ukraine Seized by the Russians on Snake Island No losses
1.03.2022 Raptor boat Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
1.03.2022 Raptor boat Raptor class patrol boat Russia Claimed to be hit by Ukrainian armed forces, no evidence in the Sea of Azov Unknown
3.03.2022 Slovyansk Island Patrol boat Ukraine Airstrike near Yuzny Unknown
3.03.2022 Banglar Samriddhi Civilian merchant ship Bangladesh Damage by a missile hit near Olvia port 1 dead
4.03.2022 Hetman Sahaydachniy Krivak III class frigate Ukraine Sunk at the pier by her own crew in Mykolaiv No losses
4.03.2022 Helt Merchant ship Panama Claimed to have been struck by a mine off the coast of Odessa No losses
14.03.2022 BG-14 UMS1000 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-24 UMS-1200 class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-311 Aist class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-310 Aist class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 BG-118 Zhuk class coast guard vessel Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Akkerman Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Vyshhorod Gurza-M class patrol boat Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
14.03.2022 Korets Sorum class tug Ukraine Seized by the Russians in the port of Berdiansk No losses
21.03.2022 Raptor boat Raptor class patrol boat Russia Hit with an anti-tank missile, in the Sea of Azov, towed back Unknown
24.03.2022 Saratov Alligator class LST Russia Explosion and fire; sank in Berdiansk port Unknown
24.03.2022 Tsezar Kunikov Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 8 injured
24.03.2022 Novocherkassk Ropucha class LST Russia Explosion and fire damage in Berdiansk port 3 dead, 2 injured

I welcome any additions, changes or corrections.

 

Russian Minehunter Georgy Kurbatov Passed Through Istanbul

The Project 12700 Aleksandrit class minehunter Georgy Kurbatov made her inaugural passage through Istanbul this afternoon. She was towed by the Project 22870 class rescue Tug SB-739 Spasatel Vasily Bekh.

It was not clear why the mine hunter was towed. One reason is to preserve her engines and not to used unnecessarily. Another reason is not to reveal her engine and propeller signature to other parties. Or may be simply she had some technical troubles and needed to be towed.

The passage of these two warships was preceded in the morning by the transit of Project 23120 class logistics support vessel Vsevolod Bobrov. It, too was her first passage through Istanbul.

FS Auvergne Passed Southbound Through Istanbul

The French warship FS Auvergne made her southbound transit through Istanbul this morning and left the Black Sea.

Her northbound passage was on 13 December 2021. During her deployment to the Black Sea, the ship visited Constanta, Romania and Odessa, Ukraine.

This was her first Black Sea deployment.


SNMCMG-2 Entered The Black Sea

Spanish Meteoro class OPV, ESPS Rayo in Istanbul.

Italian Gaeta class mine hunter ITS Viareggio.

Turkish Engin class mine hunter TCG Edincik.

Between 20 and 23rd September the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group Two (SNMCMG2) made a port visit in Istanbul.

The task force consisting of The flagship ESPS Rayo, Turkish minehunter TCG Edincik and Italian minehunter ITS Viareggio were berthed at the Sarayburnu quay.

After this short break, the task force sailed through Istanbul and entered the Black Sea for the third time in 2021. The Romanian mine sweeper ROS Lt. Lupu Dinescu and Bulgarian mine sweeper BGS Shkval joined the group after they enter the Black Sea.

According to the NATO press release the deployment will include the port visits to Batumi, Georgia, after which there will be an exercise with the Georgian Coast Guard. The deployment will also include a port visit to Samsun, Turkey.

Improved Kilo Class Submarine Stary Oskol Returned Home

Russian submarine Stray Oskol passing through Istanbul. The NATO task force SNMCMG-2 was making a port visit and can be seen in the background.

Russian improved Kilo class (Project 636.3) submarine Stary Oskol made a northbound passage through Istanbul on 23rd September 2021.

This passage was the end of a very long overhaul and operational deployment. She was last seen in Istanbul passing southbound on 25.4.2019. She exited the Black Sea to sail to the Admiralty Shipyard in St. Petersburg for an overhaul. Later since December 2020, she was stationed in the Med.

She is one of the six 636.3 class submarines commissioned for the Black Sea Fleet between 2014 and 2016.

Russian Reinforcements Sail Southbound

Admiral Grigoroivch (left) trailing Admiral Makarov as they pass through Istanbul

Admiral Makarov passing southbound through Istanbul

Admiral Grigorovich transiting southbound through Istanbul.

Less than 24 hours after a Turkish Army HQ in Syria has been hit by a Kaab 1500 L carried only by Su-34, two Russian frigates have passed in tandem southbound through Istanbul.

Two Admiral Grigorovich class frigates Admiral Grigorovich and Admiral Makarov passed through Istanbul on 28th February 2020 at 07.00 UTC. They will join the third ship of the same class Admiral Essen. She has been deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean since mid December 2019.

Each frigate can carry 8 Kalibr cruise missiles. In approximately 30 hours when all of them rejoin Russian Federation will have at least 24 missiles with 1500 km range, in addition to a number of missiles on two Kilo class submarines.

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