Fear of Bayraktar TB2 forced Russia to upgrade Raptor boats
Russia will modernize its Raptor high-speed patrol boats based on lessons learned from the war in Ukraine. This was announced by the manufacturer Pella shipyard. The biggest opponent of the Russian patrol boats turned out to be a well-known old enemy – the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone.
History repeats itself after a year ago, Russia decided to modernize the mobile air defense system Pantsir-S1 due to the inability to cope with the Bayraktar TB2 in the civil conflict in Libya.
A Russian shipyard source says the modernization of Project 03160 Raptor has already begun. It includes new armament [undisclosed what], as well as a complete replacement of the defense system with a more effective one [undisclosed]. All this should improve the combat capability of the patrol boats.
At the beginning of May, a Bayraktar TB2 drone destroyed two Raptor boats near the famous Snake Island. Later, at the end of July, the first photographic evidence arrived that the Bayraktar TB2 actually split the Raptor boats in two.
Russian engineers tasked with modernizing the patrol boats will have to find a solution to the problem called MAM-L Mini Smart Ammunition. It is such ammunition that the Bayraktar TB2 uses to inflict such damage on such a type of boat.
The damage caused by MAM-L ammunition, which weighs approximately 22 kilograms, to a 23-ton Raptor-class boat was also the subject of discussion on social media. MAM-L ammunition developed by Roketsan has a semi-active laser seeker, a maximum range of 15 kilometers, and a length of 1 meter.
Since 2015, MAM-L ammunition has been used, which can be equipped with an armor-piercing warhead with a high explosive effect or a thermobaric warhead. Thousands of MAM-Ls are known to have been produced so far and are currently in use by more than 10 countries.
MAM-L ammunition, which can be easily used by air platforms with low payload due to its very lightweight, was developed on the L-UMTAS anti-tank missile. Developed based on anti-tank ammunition, the MAM-L can penetrate even heavily armored targets for this reason. On the other hand, the MAM-T, another ammunition developed by Roketsan, can cause damage similar to the Mark-81 Utility Grenade.
“Raptor” – high-speed boats designed for patrolling, transferring, and landing troops in the coastal zone of seas, straits, and estuaries. Boats can be part of the amphibious landing craft of large amphibious and universal landing craft, placed on board or in a docking chamber. To date, the Russian Navy has 17 Raptor boats.