Russia has inducted into its navy a highly advanced spy ship that can track “all elements” of the U.S. missile defense. Dubbed Admiral Yuri Ivanov, the vessel is capable of tracking and locating gaps in the U.S. missile defenses, especially its Aegis combat system, reports German newspaper Bild. The ship was inducted into the Northern Fleet on July 26 in the presence of President Vladimir Putin.
Yuri Ivanov has some of the most advanced sensors
A Russian navy spokesman said the new vessel would be tasked with keeping close tabs on the U.S. missile defenses. The spy ship has a cruising range of 8,000 miles. Yuri Ivanov is packed with highly advanced electronic equipment and sensors, and is specifically outfitted to loiter and listen to the U.S. naval systems. It gathers radio and electronic intelligence, as well as conducts electronic warfare.
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According to Russian media, the vessel can also blast the air with massive electronic noise to jam communications and confuse enemy sensors. It makes almost impossible for the enemy to locate Russian forces. Another ship in the same class, which has been under construction since 2013, will enter sea trials in 2016. In total, the Russian navy will have four Yuri Ivanov-class spy ships by 2020.
Russia’s revised naval doctrine alarms the West
Late last month, Russia unveiled its new maritime strategy to counter the growing presence of the U.S. and NATO forces in and around Europe. The new maritime doctrine calls for a stronger presence in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as stronger ties with China in the Pacific region. Russia is aggressively modernizing its Soviet-era military hardware under a $400 billion plan.
NATO considers Russia’s naval expansion and modernization a threat to stability in Europe. From August 20-28, Russia and China will hold joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan, just 250 miles off the coast of Japan. The Sino-Russian military maneuvers in the Pacific region come as tensions between China and the U.S. have escalated over Beijing’s artificial island-building activities. At least 20 warships from each Russia and China will participate in the drills.