Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pentagon: Russian Spy Ship, Tug Operating Near U.S. ^ | April 25, 2014 5:00 am | Bill Gertz

Posted on 04/26/2014 9:30:51 PM PDT by

A Russian intelligence-gathering ship has been operating off the U.S. East Coast and near the Gulf of Mexico for the past month, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“We are aware that the Russian ships Viktor Leonov and Nikolay Chiker are currently operating in waters that are beyond U.S. territorial seas but near Cuba,” said Lt. Col. Tom Crosson, a Pentagon spokesman. “We respect the freedom of all nations, as reflected in international law, to operate military vessels beyond the territorial seas of other nations.”

The Leonov is an intelligence gathering ship outfitted with high-tech electronic spying gear. The Chiker is an ocean-going naval tug that has been accompanying the spy ship on its mission.

Pentagon officials suspect the ships were part of a spying operation since March against the U.S. nuclear missile submarine base at Kings Bay, Ga. and other U.S. military facilities

Both ships were detected operating off the coast of Florida near the U.S. Naval Station Mayport, Fla., which is south of the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay.

The Russian intelligence gathering coincides with heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over Moscow’s recent military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

An official said it is possible that the electronic spying is related to watching U.S. nuclear missile submarines as part of a Russian nuclear exercise.

According to Russian military press reports, some 10,000 Russian troops and 1,000 pieces of military equipment of the Strategic Missile Forces took part in an exercise April 17 to 19—coinciding with the transit of one of the ships, the Chiker, to Cuba from the coast off northern Florida on April 19.

“The exercises will test the cohesiveness and skills of units and commands in the process of alerting and the achievement of training objectives under various circumstances and in any time of the day,” Russian defense spokesman told Interfax.

The Chiker also is known to support submarines and is equipped with lift capability for servicing Russian submarines.

U.S. officials said in 2012 a Russian Akula attack submarine was detected operating near the East Coast. The Navy denied the sub sailed undetected in the Gulf of Mexico.

Crosson declined to comment further on the Russian naval activities. “It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to talk about the operations of non-U.S. vessels operating beyond U.S. territorial seas,” he said.

According to military enthusiast websites, the Leonov is a Vishnya-class medium intelligence ship home ported in Severomorsk and is part of the Kola Peninsula naval forces.

The ship was commissioned in 1988.

The ships are designed for signals and communications intelligence gathering through an array of ship-borne sensors. It also is equipped with two 30-millimeter guns and anti-aircraft missiles.

Wire services reports indicated the Leonov docked in Havana in February and March, and again this month. This entry was posted in National Security and tagged Russia. Bookmark the permalink.

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: russia; spyship

1 posted on 04/26/2014 9:30:51 PM PDT by
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]


Putin knows that the US is a rudderless ship, drifting around with no rudder, or a captain at the helm. He will make the most of it.
I do not, however, think that he is out to reconstitute the USSR.

2 posted on 04/26/2014 9:45:35 PM PDT by AlexW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Havana seems to be a regular stop for this for a number of years. There was an article posted about it on Friday.

3 posted on 04/26/2014 9:52:51 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Remember all the Russian spy ships operating off U.S. coasts during Republican administrations? Me neither.

4 posted on 04/26/2014 10:02:55 PM PDT by Rembrandt (Part of the 51% who pay Federal taxes)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rembrandt

I do from 90-94 I had to do daily briefs which included location of every agi (spy ship) in the pacific. There was always one off Hawaii, Cali, Washington and Alaska plus 3-4 west PAC. My uncle tells the story from the 60s of driving one of them crazy by putting an older washer painted gray topside and moving to block their view of it on the enterprise. They couldn’t figure out what the new equipment was. Nothing changes but the names.

5 posted on 04/26/2014 10:08:29 PM PDT by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothings)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: reed13k

Funny how quickly we have forgotten what the cold war was like.

6 posted on 04/26/2014 10:24:18 PM PDT by MrNeutron1962
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Rembrandt
Remember all the Russian spy ships operating off U.S. coasts during Republican administrations? Me neither.

I was in the Navy during the Reagan administrator and yes, they were off the West Coast all the time. But that was the height of the Cold War. A better question would be "Do you remember all the Russian spy ships operating off U.S. coasts after the fall of the USSR and before the Obama administration?"

7 posted on 04/26/2014 11:27:36 PM PDT by GATOR NAVY
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]


I’m no naval intelligence expert, but doesn’t having an oceanic sub-supporting tug floating around kind of indicate the presence of a sub nearby?

8 posted on 04/27/2014 1:20:34 AM PDT by OldNewYork
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OldNewYork

Maybe it’s an oiler.

9 posted on 04/27/2014 4:38:53 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Rip it out by the roots.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]


Agree, spent a lot of time in the 70 & 80s taking close looks at AGIs (as we called them in those days). The Reds always seemed to have one off the coast of either Norfolk, Charleston & Grotton. Nothing new here, and certainly not as a result of this administration. IMO, just the Russians yearning for “the good days of Soviet power”

10 posted on 04/27/2014 4:54:38 AM PDT by X Fretensis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AlexW

Yep, he has a pointy stick and is jabbing Obama for the fun of it.

11 posted on 04/27/2014 5:00:51 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]


Story is that during the Cold War there was a Russian trawler on station off the coast of Guam spying on our bomber operations. It was an open secret that eventually got to the pilots. On one mission a B-52 came in low and just before the plane was over the ship, opened it’s bomb bay doors. The bomber crew reported that they saw all aholes and elbows going over the side of the ship. Was said that the Russians weren’t amused.

After I came to Guam in talks with Security Police they relayed that often during their patrols they would be on the perimeter road near the end of the runway and spot a ship out in the water running with no lights. As soon as they called it in, the ship would leave the area.

12 posted on 04/27/2014 5:18:05 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

The Russian Navy is now back off Florida.

Tug Nikolay Chiker has just sent the 06 GMT (May 7th) Morse Code weather message to Moscow. The message is international weather and contains the latitude and longitude. I can pick up the signal here in the UK

Map Link for position of vessel off Florida

Morse Code sent on 12464 Kilohertz. Weather stripped out to leave position and course speed

12464 RIW DE RAL48 07061 99276 70787 22223 @0609Z

27.6N 78.7W Heading East at 11-15 Knots

13 posted on 05/06/2014 11:43:32 PM PDT by Tommyjo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson