Ukraine kits out kayaks with grenade launchers, optimized for covert military operations, report says

  • Ukraine has developed a potential game-changer for its wartime defense, said an ABC News report.

  • The kayak equipped with grenade launchers is cost-efficient, durable, maneuverable, and covert.

  • The Poloz-M16 kayaks were used in a successful nighttime operation last year.

In Ukraine, engineers and special forces are testing a potential game changer for Ukraine's defense: the Poloz-M16 combat kayak, ABC News reports.

The specially designed watercraft costs about $2,500 per unit (10 times cheaper than similar Western models). It can transport up to three soldiers and 550 pounds of cargo, boasting durability and longevity thanks to its polyethylene construction. The Poloz-M16 can be deployed from land vehicles and helicopters and can even be controlled remotely on water.

The Poloz-M16 is lightweight, quiet, and maneuverable — optimal for covert operations in the river battles taking place in the southern reaches of the Dnipro, made up of islets and marshes.

"Our Poloz is not afraid of any bulletproof speed boat. It can hide in the reeds and fire at the enemy like in a shooting range," Serhiy Ostashenko, CEO of the Adamant Verf company, told ABC.

What sets it apart as a combat kayak is its Ukrainian-produced NATO-type UAG-40 grenade launcher, capable of firing projectiles over a mile away while maintaining stability on water, thanks to a mechanism that prevents the grenade launcher's recoil from capsizing the light-weight craft.

The Poloz combat kayaks have already succeeded in a mission. They were used on the Oskil River in the Kharkiv region last October, transporting explosives during a nighttime patrol near Russian positions along the riverbank. They also helped to secure the passage of an assault group that made Russian forces retreat toward the east, per ABC.

Ukraine: A powerhouse in military technology

The kayaks are part of a broader campaign in Ukraine to develop unconventional solutions to counter Russia's aggression.

The war in Russia has forced it to become one of the world's leading military innovators. For example, it has developed a range of marine attack drones that it has successfully used against Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Recently, Ukraine claimed that an attack that damaged five fighter planes at a Russian airfield was carried out using "cardboard" drones from Australia.

It has also modified existing weapons, such as the Neptune naval cruise missile, which is now used for land-attack missions. Russia has lost a pair of prized S-400s air defense systems to the converted missiles in recent weeks, reports say.

Not all weapons innovations enter mass production, but they are cost-effective tools for defense that boost Ukraine's arsenal.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, recently emphasized the country's potential to become a powerhouse in military technology.

"We will be the strongest in military tech – that is, everything related to innovations in the military field. Cyber security, any physical security related to innovation, and protection of critical infrastructure facilities will also evolve," Fedorov said in nationally televised comments.


Read the original article on Business Insider