Russian Firm Develops New 'Skat' Underwater Vehicle
Russian media has reported that Spektr Engineering design bureau has developed a new uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV). The 'Skat' (Скат) may have potential uses in the war with Ukraine.
The lightweight 4.7 kg (10 lb) design is being described as remote control, putting it into the ROV (Remoted Operated Vehicle) category. This would make it relatively short ranged. However details of the control mechanism, such as an umbiligual cable, are unclear.
The small craft is reportedly intended for monitoring infrastructure (such as bridge piles), reconnaissance and mine countermeasures. With a maximum speed of 4.85 knots, Skat is able to function both in running water and standing water. In a river context it is suggested that it could be launched to the opposite bank and plant a mine at the water’s edge. The use cases in the fighting in Ukraine are clear.
However, like many Russian projects, it is unclear whether it will enter service. Media attention of prototypes in Russia is often an indicator that the manufacturer hopes for a state contract. We will wait and see, but don't hold your breath.