09:46 12 Sep 2023

United to win: UK helps Ukraine ensure sea safety amid Russian attacks with new equipment

Photo: Sonar (from open sources)

Great Britain donated four echo sounders worth £1.6 million and other geodetic equipment and mapping software, Rubryka reports, referring to the website of the British government.

What is the problem?

In July, Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, claiming the parties to the deal allegedly didn't fulfill its terms. Following the decision, Russian forces began a series of attacks on Ukrainian ports and grain infrastructure in the country's south.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered Türkiye and the UN to resume the grain initiative in a trilateral format. Ukraine is considering transporting food through the territorial waters of Romania and Bulgaria.

On July 19, the Russian defense ministry threatened that any countries sending their ships to Ukrainian ports would be considered involved in the war.

Rubryka also reported that Ukraine's defense intelligence led a special operation to return control over the gas and oil platforms in the Black Sea between Crimea and Odesa. Soldiers recaptured the rigs Russia used for military purposes since 2015.

Even though Ukraine does not control the entirety of the Black Sea water area, the authorities created a temporary corridor of civilian vessels stuck in Ukrainian ports because of the Russian blockade. Unfortunately, Ukraine can't make the entire "grain corridor" safe for civilian ships.

What is the solution?

The Hydrographic Service of Great Britain transferred geodetic equipment and mapping software to Ukraine. The equipment should help ensure safety at sea and support commercial shipping in the face of Russian attacks.

How does it work?

Two full-fledged single-beam echo sounders and two systems of multi-beam echo sounders will be used for hydrographic studies. Ukraine will be able to collect accurate data on the seabed and marine environment, process it, and use it to maintain nautical charts and navigational information to ensure safer navigation in the area.

The equipment will produce navigational information and nautical charts containing safety information. Ships passing through Ukrainian waters can use this to plan a safe route, including through any humanitarian grain corridor.

"The equipment provided by the UK Hydrographic Office will contribute to the protection of ports and shipping lanes, helping Ukraine's ships stay safe so they can move goods, including food supplies, in and out of the country," the government website said.

Along with equipment and software, the UK also offered Ukraine's hydrographic service training in specialized courses. "The training will help to develop the necessary skills for the effective use of the donated equipment," the statement said.

The British military planes have also protected cargo ships transporting grain from Ukraine. Britain's defense ministry stepped up its presence in the area when Moscow began attacking grain infrastructure in July after it scrapped a deal that allowed Ukraine to export grain from its Black Sea ports.

Rubryka reported that Ukraine's territorial defense forces received British FV432 armored personnel carriers thanks to the Ukrainian World Congress and their initiative UniteWithUkraine.

The German government also instructed the Rheinmetall arms producer to supply 40 more Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

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