Fresh paint against drones: Russian frigate uses WWII camouflage method


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Fresh paint against drones
Russian frigate uses WWII camouflage method

In recent months, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has been the target of Ukrainian naval drones several times. In order to camouflage the ships better, the Russians use paint and brushes. Satellite images show a frigate with a new livery reminiscent of the German battleship Bismarck that sank in 1941.

According to a report, the Russian Black Sea Fleet is using an old method of camouflage to protect its ships from Ukrainian attacks. The portal specialized in marine topics Navalnews reports, citing satellite images, that the frigate “Admiral Essen” has had a fresh coat of paint on the bow and stern in order to deceive drones. Accordingly, the ship appears smaller due to the new dark color.

According to the portal, such tricks were not used in previous decades – but they were a common method during World War II. The German Navy also painted the bow and stern of the battleship Bismarck with dark paint. Historical photos show that artificial bow waves and wakes were also painted on the hull to further disguise the size and thus the identity of the ship.

According to Navalnews, this isn’t the first time the Russian Navy has resorted to ancient methods. Accordingly, in March last year, the Black Sea Fleet began painting over the numbers on the ships’ hulls to make identification more difficult.

With her sister ships “Admiral Makarow” and “Admiral Grigorovich”, the “Admiral Essen” is one of the most powerful warships in the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Together they play an important role in the war of aggression against Ukraine. The frigates can each be armed with eight Kalibr cruise missiles, which Russia regularly uses against targets in Ukraine.

The battleship Bismarck in 1941. The bow and stern of the ship are painted dark. Artificial waves were painted on the long side.

(Foto: picture alliance / Photo12/Collection Bernard Croch)

A danger for the Russian ships, however, pose the remote controlled naval drones of Ukraine. Specimens had entered the port of Sevastopol several times in recent months. During an attack in October last year, the “Admiral Makarov” to have been damaged by a sea drone.

Whether the camouflage painting works is controversial, writes Navalnews. From a Russian point of view, however, the painting is better than nothing. However, it is clear that Moscow takes the threat posed by drones seriously.

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