World

What Are British REMUS 600 Autonomous Underwater Drones, Rumoured To Have Struck Russia's Crimea Bridge Again

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jul 18, 2023, 06:17 PM | Updated 06:18 PM IST

REMUS 600 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). (Image via Whoi.edu)
REMUS 600 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). (Image via Whoi.edu)

On the intervening nights of 16 and 17 July, a bomb-attack struck the Kerch rail-road bridge in Crimea, stopping traffic movement for several hours.

This bridge is the only land supply route which connects Russia with Crimea. This is the second instance, a bomb-attack has struck the Kerch bridge.

Earlier in October 2022, the Ukrainians orchestrated an attack on the bridge.

Rumours are circulating, suggesting that the bridge was targeted by a floating drone. A Ukrainian news portal RBK-Ukraina claims that the bridge was struck using a floating drone.

This claim was repeated by the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov stating that "today, the Crimea bridge was torn apart by sea drones."

The floating drone, rumoured to be used in strike is the British REMUS 600 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

These remote environmental monitoring units (REMUS) are a series of AUVs capable of carrying multiple sensors, and are used by various militaries and civilians for conducting underwater missions.

It is developed by the British company Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in collaboration with Oceanographic Systems Lab.

REMUS AUVs are torpedo-shaped with varying dimensions. The largest variant, REMUS 6000, boasts a maximum length of 3.84 m and a diameter of 71 cm, while the smallest variant, REMUS M3V, measures 91.5 x 12.4 cm.

These drones are operated using a single laptop and contains various sensors for oceanographic research.

REMUS uses a propeller and fins for steering and diving, and has multiple variants, with the largest being REMUS 6000, which can operate to depths of 6,000 m below sea level, with the most versatile variant REMUS 600 capable of operating up to depths of 600 m for 70 hours and a maximum range of 286 nautical miles.

REMUS also has other variants like REMUS 3000, REMUS 100 etc.

REMUS AUVs are used by civilians operators to map the ocean floor, to do underwater surveying and by the militaries, for mine detection and counter-measure missions.

These AUVs are credited with the discovery of underwater mines during operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, and in 2011, with the discovery of the missing black-boxes of the Air France flight AF447.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.


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