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Russia’s Coast Guard ships to begin extensive, permanent use of drones

This will considerably enhance the ability of border guard units to timely assess the situation on the sea

MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. The Coast Guard of Russia’s Border Guard Service has begun active transition to using helicopter-carrying ships and in the long term it will employ drones on a wide scale, the chief of the Border Guard Service’s Coast Guard Department, Admiral Gennady Medvedev, has told TASS in an interview.

"Ships of two projects are built serially for the Coast Guard. They are armed with helicopters capable of coping with border protection tasks in the territorial seas and the exclusive economic zone of Russia," he said.

Obtaining ships armed with advanced helicopters is a priority for the coast guard, Medvedev said.

"This will considerably enhance the ability of border guard units to timely assess the situation on the sea, identify legal violations and, if need be, deliver a special squad to the intruder ship and make it stop," he explained.

Unmanned aerial vehicles are another high priority.

"We regard the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as a crucial way of assessing the situation on the sea and conduct active work along these lines," Medvedev said.

In the Arctic, local border guard forces are armed with ice class ships. The lead ship Polyarnaya Zvezda of project 22100, provided in 2016, was designed for service in the exclusive economic zone, on the continental shelf and in Russia’s Arctic seas. It is armed with helicopters and can carry drones integrated with the automatic systems of monitoring the situation on the sea. "The ships’ serial production has begun," Medvedev said.