Russia is aggressively modernizing its military by replacing the Soviet-era equipment with the latest hardware as its relations with the West continue to deteriorate. On Sunday, Moscow inducted a high-tech spy ship in the Northern Fleet of its navy in the presence of President Vladimir Putin.

Russia Launches Spy Ship To "Track All Elements" Of U.S. Missile Defense

Russia rattled by the U.S. missile defenses

Russian navy spokesman Vladimir Matveev said the new spy ship was designed to gather intelligence and conduct electronic warfare. He said it would “track all elements of the U.S. missile defense system,” reports IHS Jane’s 360. The ship is named Admiral Yury Ivanov, and is the first under Project 18280 spy ships designed for the Russian Navy.

The second vessel in the same class, Ivan Khurs, will be launched next year, said United Shipbuilding Corporation. Admiral Yury Ivanov is light on armaments, but heavy on advanced electronic equipment and sensors. It is specifically equipped to track the U.S. anti-missile defenses being outfitted on American warships.

U.S. missile defenses have rattled Russia in recent months. Moscow considers these defenses as an existential threat to its nuclear deterrence. Last month, Russia announced that it would add 40 new inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to its arsenal that will be capable of penetrating even the most advanced U.S. missile defenses.

The spy ship has advanced electronic warfare capabilities

Russia’s new ICBMs will be equipped with multiple nuclear warheads and countermeasures designed to confuse and evade American defenses in the event of a nuclear war. Russian media claims the latest spy ship can blast the air with electronic noise to jam communications, confuse enemy sensors, and make it almost impossible for the enemy to locate Russian forces.

What’s more, the spy ship also listens to the radio and other signals emitted by enemy forces, and gathers intelligence on foreign military’s electronic warfare capabilities. Celebrating the Navy Day on July 26, Russia said it would strengthen its naval forces in the Atlantic and Arctic as a response to increased NATO activities near its borders.