Artificial intelligence sees hidden Russian ships

The Russians are using a new type of camouflage on their warships, which distorts their apparent size. However, for artificial intelligence working with images of SAR satellites, this is not a problem.

Artificial intelligence determines the types of Russian ships. Source:

Russia uses a new camouflage

In the field of satellite observations, the arms race continues, caused by Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine. For some time now, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has been trying to experiment with camouflage coloring, trying to complicate the work of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine and Western allies.

On their ships, they use coloring, which should hide their real shapes and sizes. It should mainly mislead observers on the surface, but it can also be effective against aviation and satellite reconnaissance. 

The essence of camouflage is quite simple. Russians paint the sharp end and stern of the ship almost black, and the rest — very light. As a result, it visually seems smaller, and it becomes difficult to determine the type. For the first time they used this technique on the ship Admiral Essen. Then it was joined by Admiral Makarov, which after the sinking of the Moskva became the flagship of the fleet, the minesweeper Ivan Golubets, the anti-submarine corvette Muromets and at least three Buyan-M class missile corvettes.

How effective such camouflage can be is a rather controversial question, since everything strongly depends on the lighting conditions. Experts believe that it will not be a problem for an experienced analyst, but it can really mislead independent OSINT investigators or artificial intelligence.

Camouflage of Russian ships. Source:

Artificial Intelligence from Satim Inc.

However, against artificial intelligence developed by Satim Inc., all Russian tricks have no effect. After all, it is trained to recognize types of warships from images of SAR satellites, similar to the ICEYE spacecraft, which Ukraine received at its disposal last year.

This type of satellite is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that receives images due to reflected radio waves. For them, night or clouds can’t be a problem. And Russian camouflage against this type of satellite is ineffective.

However, due to the rather low resolution and the peculiarities of signal reflection, the images are so distorted that it is sometimes difficult even for experts to determine the type of ship from them. But the artificial intelligence from Satim Inc. does it with 90 percent accuracy. It has demonstrated its effectiveness during recent tests.

It is worth noting that back in 2022, the Russians tried to counteract attempts by SAR satellites to track their military ports. For this purpose, they placed barges with radio wave reflectors next to warships. However, these measures proved ineffective and were eventually abandoned.

Now there is a message that the Admiral Essen, the first ship to use the new camouflage, has got rid of it. However, whether this means that the Russians have abandoned this experiment is still unclear.

According to

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