Skip to comments.Pentagon: Russian Spy Ship, Tug Operating Near U.S.
Posted on 04/26/2014 9:30:51 PM PDT by UMCRevMom@aol.com
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 Moscows recent military annexation of Ukraines 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 19coinciding 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 wouldnt 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.
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.
Havana seems to be a regular stop for this for a number of years. There was an article posted about it on Friday.
Remember all the Russian spy ships operating off U.S. coasts during Republican administrations? Me neither.
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.
Funny how quickly we have forgotten what the cold war was like.
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?"
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?
Maybe it’s an oiler.
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”
Yep, he has a pointy stick and is jabbing Obama for the fun of it.
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.
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
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