At a U.S. Coast Guard base in Baltimore, Maryland, a training course has been completed for the fifth Ukrainian crew to serve on Island-type combat boats that the Americans have handed over to Ukraine to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities at sea. A solemn ceremony where the relevant certificates were issued to Ukrainian crews took place on Friday last week before three boats of this type – the Sumy, the Fastiv, and the Kubrak, will be deployed in Ukraine in November. But this is only one of the stages in the buildup of a new, powerful Ukrainian naval fleet. Next year, more modern boats, Mark VI, are expected to be handed to Ukraine. Although smaller in size, they are no worse armed and able to give a real rebuff to Russian aggression in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
The Ukrainian military is already familiar with Island-class boats as two of them, Sloviansk and Starobilsk, have been performing combat missions in the Black Sea since 2019. These are American patrol ships…
The graduation ceremony for Ukrainian sailors at the naval base in Baltimore was attended by the American and Ukrainian military, diplomats, and other guests….
Major General Borys Kremenetsky, Defense Attaché of Ukraine’s Embassy in the United States, [said] the three Island-type boats currently stationed in Baltimore will be equipped with modern weapons systems, including anti-ship arms. “Weapons will be installed in Ukraine – both missile systems and guns,” he said.
In addition, the Ukrainian side expects to receive from American partners boats of another class….The model was chosen to achieve the most realistic balance of power, in terms of efficiency-cost, in the Black Sea-Azov basin in the face of Russian aggression. The concept provides for the deployment of high-speed and maneuverable combat boats – torpedo carriers, patrol boats, those armed with missiles, as well as other types that can effectively deprive larger enemy ships of domination in coastal areas.
During a visit to Odesa region in July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that the Ukrainian and American sides are now cooperating on the issue of the Mark VI handover, which will practically launch in 2022. At the same time, according to the president, Ukraine is implementing large-scale joint projects not only with the United States, but also with the United Kingdom, Turkey, and many other friends and partners.