Ukrainian State Aquarium Trains Dolphins for Special Tasks
Dolphins for Soviet Navy were trained in Sevastopol since 1973. Specially educated animals were able to find military equipment on the seabed, and attack enemy divers and ships with weapons and explosives fixed on their heads. After the breakup of the Soviet Union and partition of Black Sea Fleet, the dolphin-training military unit fell to Ukraine along with all specialists. Dolphins were used for peaceful purposes like therapy of handicapped children, reports RIA Novosti.
“Today, Ukrainian State Aquarium in Sevastopol trains ten bottlenose dolphins for special tasks of Ukrainian Navy. Servicemen regularly hold drills with dolphins searching objects lying on the seabed”, said the interviewee.
As for him, in 90’s some dolphins were used for medical treatment of handicapped children; that helped to earn money for taking care of the rest animals. “But generally, military training program has been never shut down, although was going on without advertising”, said the source.
He added that the dolphin training program included monitoring of sea areas where militarily interesting underwater objects could be found. Dolphins are supposed to mark such sites by buoys.
The animals are also taught how to attack combat underwater swimmers and ships. For that purpose, either a knife or a pistol gun is attached to a dolphin’s head.
“Right now we plan to exercise in countersabotage protection of anchored and moored ships”, said the expert.
He pointed out that several drills had been carried out in 2012 both inside the aquarium and beyond it. The main mission was to find an object under water. “All tasks were accomplished, our dolphins did find the object and touched it by a special sensor fixed on the head. After that a buoy got up to surface”, the interview said.
At present, there are only two centers training dolphins for military purposes. They are located in San Diego (USA) and Sevastopol (Ukraine).
There is no information about any dolphin training programs for Russian Navy.
Source: RusNavy, October 15, 2012