Despite these attempts at subterfuge, satellite imagery reveals the newly camouflaged Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate to be Admiral Essen.

Disguising the Black Sea Beast: Admiral Grigorovich Class

From a satellite lens, the Admiral Grigorovich -class frigate of the Russian Navy is shown transformed. Her bow and stern are covered in dark paint, which contrasts with her traditional gray uniform. This tactical change is designed to confuse unsuspecting bystanders.

The reason for this drastic change in appearance lies in the growing threat of maritime drones from the Ukrainian Navy. These devices use high-tech cameras to locate their targets, so Admiral Essen’s disguise seeks to fool operators and confuse his target.

Admiral Essen

For naval history buffs, this camouflage is reminiscent of one of the WWII Kriegsmarine used on the battleship KMS Bismarck. In this way, the bow and stern painted in a dark tone seek to mislead observers about the size of the ship and, therefore, her identity.

Admiral Grigorovich Frigates and their Strategic Importance

The Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates are central to the Russian offensive against Ukraine. These ships, equipped with Kalibr land-attack cruise missiles, are located deep within the Ukrainian borders. Their camouflage is an attempt to protect these jewels from the Black Sea Fleet.

Despite its improved defenses, Ukrainian maritime drones, also known as USVs, have managed to infiltrate the port of Sevastopol on several occasions. These vessels, equipped with powerful warheads, pose a real threat.

During the 2022 Russian invasion, a surprising tactic was employed. The Russian Navy began to hide the hull numbers of its ships in the Black Sea, an apparently outdated strategy but effective in making it difficult to identify ships.

Camouflage Efficiency: Enough to Fool?

Despite these attempts at subterfuge, satellite imagery reveals the newly camouflaged Admiral Grigorovich-class frigate to be Admiral Essen.

However, from the point of view of the Russian Navy, any camouflage is better than none. This situation could bring back other historical camouflage patterns, such as glare, as long as drones continue to rely on visual aiming.