Startling images have emerged, revealing the extensive damage inflicted on a Russian submarine – the £250 million Kilo-class attack vessel Rostov-on-Don.
The damage was done following a direct hit by a Storm Shadow missile on September 13.
The strike occurred at a repair shipyard in the naval port of Sevastopol, located in annexed Crimea.
Investigative journalists from the Conflict Intelligence Team obtained and released these exclusive photographs, which show the devastating impact on the submarine while it was in dry dock.
It appears that the Rostov-on-Don sustained two missile strikes, allegedly sourced from Ukraine and supplied by Britain and France.
One of the images highlights a significant breach “located on top of the bow of the submarine”, a detail consistent with earlier satellite imagery of the stricken vessel, which had previously been used by Putin’s forces in their operations against Ukraine.
“The second strike targeted the starboard side of the vessel, specifically in the vicinity behind the command point,” the report states. Notably, this damage was not discernible from satellite images.
The investigation further suggests that the living quarters and other critical areas within the submarine also sustained damage, raising questions about the vessel’s operational capability in the future.
Experts predict that the extensive repairs required may render the Rostov-on-Don unfit for further participation in the ongoing conflict.
Economically, repairing the submarine may not be a viable option for Russia, prompting speculation that they might opt to commission a new vessel instead.
In addition to the damage inflicted on the submarine, the shipyard strike also wreaked havoc on the large landing ship Minsk. Ukrainian sources have alleged that Russia may have concealed the deaths of 24 individuals resulting from the strike.
On the same day, a ‘Sea Baby’ kamikaze drone targeted and damaged the Russian missile hovercraft Samum near Sevastopol harbour, adding to the maritime turmoil. Additionally, a marine drone was responsible for the damage sustained by the Vasily Bykov patrol ship.