VLADIMIR Putin’s newest nightmare is Ukraine’s “invisible” underwater kamikaze drones that are capable of carrying 1,000lbs of explosives.
The newly-designed “Marichka” 20ft torpedo-like weapon will soon be unleashed against Russia’s fearsome Black Sea fleet.
Kyiv has unveiled footage of the suicide underwater drone being taken for a test swim as the country continues to develop unmanned marine assault weapons to threaten the Russian navy.
The £355k fearsome black weapon was being put to the test by servicemen with blurred faces in a top secret location.
It is the latest creation of Ammo.Ukraine – a volunteer organisation that is helping to the turn the tides in the so-called “War of the Drones”.
They say it is immune to Russian radio-electronic warfare systems, meaning the pricey weapon is “invisible to the enemy”.
The “Marichka” has a range of over 620 miles, which means it should soon easily be able target Russian warships, subs and coastal fortifications in and around the Black Sea including annexed Crimea.
It’s likely to be aimed at the £3billion Kerch bridge, which has already been hit twice in daring attacks by Kyiv using experimental semi-submersible naval drones in both July and September.
The second attack wreaked havoc on Putin’s precious and not-yet-repaired 12-mile crossing, which links Russia to the occupied peninsula and is a major supply route for Vlad’s troops.
Ukraine announced that its newest naval drone has “a unique communication system with the operator, which makes it possible to control the submersible at great distances and depths”.
The high-tech weapon also has reconnaissance functions and has the capabilities to lurk on standby-mode before being unleashed on targets.
It is different from the “Sea Baby” drone, which can travel 500 miles and carry 600lb of explosives and is responsible for a spate of audacious attacks on Russian vessels in recent months.
The “Marichka” joins an arsenal of locally-produced, ambitious and experimental drones being pioneered in Ukraine after Kyiv dramatically stepped up manufacturing of the DIY weapons.
The nation’s drone revolution has produced some of the most devastating weapons of the war so far and provided a critical answer to Moscow’s superior long-range missiles.
Across Ukraine in bedrooms, garages and secret factories, the game-changing weapons are being cobbled together using 3D printers, off-the-shelf parts and donated materials.
And lately the newly designed seafaring drones have been taking centre stage in the war – striking fear in the once Russian-dominated waters of the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s sea drone pilots have even been dubbed the “new Dambusters” in their spectacular campaign to end Putin’s naval supremacy.
On September 16, a “Sea Baby” drone brutally struck a Russian missile hovercrafts – marking the fourth Russian vessel to be damaged in a three day stint.
The Black Sea vessel, called Samum, had to be towed into Sevastopol harbour after the strike which inflicted “significant damage.”
The very same model is credited with the crippling strikes on the Crimean Bridge, while other drones continue to terrorise Sevastopol.
And August saw two daring raids on two intelligence ships and strikes which blew up a military transport and an oil tanker.