A Russian-owned Project 1176 Akula (“Shark”) class of landing craft has been sunk near Mariupol, Ukraine on the north coast of the Sea of Azov.
According to some reports, a landing craft of the Black Sea Fleet D-106 is reported to have exploded when it hit one of the Russian navy’s own mines near Mariupol, the southern Ukrainian port city that Russia’s troops destroyed and now occupy.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian military in Odesa Sergey Bratchuk claimed that three Russian sailors were killed.
“Finally, we received confirmation that, indeed, on June 30, a Russian D-106 landing craft of the 1176 Akula class of the Black Sea blown up on a mine in the waters of Mariupol,” he wrote in his Telegram channel.
The Akula class vessel is designated as a type of landing craft and is similar in type to the US Navy Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM). It has a limited range (2-day, 330–500 nmi (610–930 km; 380–580 mi)) and has a shallow draught that makes them ideal for amphibious operations and littoral combat.
As noted by the Russian arms export agency Rosoboronexport, the landing capacity of the landing craft is one T-72 main battle tank or up to 50 tons of cargo or 20 assault troopers.
Russia’s accidental sinking of its own warship fell on the same day as the Russian troops finally retreated from Snake Island following heavy bombardment from Ukrainian artillery.