Russia Deploys Military Dolphins To Patrol Its Naval Bases

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According to USNI News, a news and analysis website run by the US Naval Institute, Russia has trained and positioned dolphins to secure its Black Sea naval station by dodging Ukrainian undersea activities aimed at destroying Russian warships. 

The Russian Navy has built two dolphin pens near the entrance to Sevastopol harbor in Crimea, shielded just inside a sea wall and alert to a hostile presence, according to photographs supplied by Maxar Technologies. The pens were relocated in February, around the time of Ukraine’s invasion. 

It’s unknown whether Ukraine has any plans to attack Sevastopol with combat swimmers. Dolphins, on the other hand, are largely regarded as an effective protection against divers by naval analysts. 

Why Dolphins? 

Dolphins were chosen to guard the naval facility because they have natural sonar, which they utilise to navigate through the sea. Dolphins’ innate ability to distinguish between a golf ball and a ping-pong ball is called echolocation, and it is so exact that it can tell the difference between the two based only on density. 

The ships anchored at the Russian naval base are out of range of Ukrainian missiles, but they might be attacked from below. The dolphins have been stationed there to ensure that this does not occur. The marine mammals were most likely taught to protect the ships and conduct “counter-diver operations.” 

According to H I Sutton, an expert on submarine and sub-surface systems who first reported on the dolphin pens in Sevastopol, animals in marine mammal programmes — ranging from dolphins and beluga whales to sea lions and seals — are trained to find enemy combat swimmers and detect bottom mines and moored mines. 

The mammals were seen following the historic sinking of Moscow’s flagship Black Sea missile cruiser Moskva formerly Slava. 

All about the Sevastopol harbor 

Sevastopol is the Russian Navy’s most important Black Sea naval facility. According to satellite photographs, many high-value Russian Navy ships are situated inside the harbor out of range of Ukrainian missiles but exposed to submarine sabotage. The Soviet Navy launched many marine animal programmes during the Cold War, including dolphin training in the Black Sea. The unit was stationed in Kazachya Bukhta, near Sevastopol, where it remains today. 

After the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, the unit was handed over to the Ukrainian military. Despite efforts to keep it open, it only lasted a few days. The unit was taken over by the Russian Navy after Russia’s takeover of Crimea in 2014. The marine mammal programmes have since been enlarged and put back into service. 

More about Russia and its marine mammals 

Russia’s Northern Fleet has been more active in the Arctic in recent years, employing a variety of marine mammals. Beluga whales and seals, which have thick layers of fat to remain warm, are better insulated from the cold than the Black Sea bottlenose dolphins. 

Beluga whale enclosures have been erected at GUGI’s covert naval facility in Olenya Guba (Main Directorate of Deep Sea Research). The Russian military’s primary undersea spying assets are thought to be in the hands of the intelligence group. 

The use of Russian marine mammals has increased across the board, not just in the Arctic. The Black Sea Fleet’s dolphins were deployed to Russia’s Mediterranean Sea naval base in Tartus, Syria, for several months in 2018.

Edited By: Khushi Thakur

Published By: Mohammed Anees

Shubham Somkuwar
Shubham Somkuwar
Shubham Somkuwar was born in 1996 in the orange city of Nagpur, Maharashtra. He considers his faith and family to be the most important to him. He has a degree in Business Administration which he aspired for after dropping out of engineering and now pursues a degree in post-graduation in English literature. He is a business aspirant for the stability of mental health and has been through a psychological disruption after being diagnosed with Schizophrenia a couple of years ago. He has witnessed his recovery by attending a paper with a pen and plans to take it ahead in life.

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