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Russian Fleet Movements

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  • #91
    Re: Russian Fleet Movements

    Russia's Super Secret Spy Submarine Returns to Sea

    October 24, 2016

    Earlier this month, a Russian ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) called Podmoskovie slipped out of its pier at Severodvinsk for the first time in 16 years.

    But BS-64 Podmoskovie—which was commissioned in 1986 as a Project 667BDRM Delfin-class (NATO: Delta IV) SSBN designated K-64—is no ordinary boomer. Over the course of nearly two decades, the massive submarine was modified to conduct special missions. But exactly what those missions might be remains somewhat of a mystery.

    Podmoskovie was photographed leaving the shipyard for contractor sea trials on Oct. 22 by Oleg Kuleshov, who writes for the BMPD blog—a product of the Moscow-based Centre for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

    Podmoskovie and her sister BS-136 Orenburg—a former Delta III SSBN—are roughly analogous to the U.S. Navy’s secretive USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23)—which is a highly modified Seawolf-class boat. Carter is roughly 100ft longer that her two Seawolf-class sisters with the addition of a Multi-Mission Platform (MMP), which allows the submarine to launch and recovery of various unmanned vehicles and support special operations forces. Podmoskovie is thought to be similar in concept—but the Russians are not exactly keen on sharing those details for obvious reasons.

    What is known about Podmoskovie is that the massive vessel entered the shipyard in 1999 under the Russian Ministry of Defense’s Project 09787—which ostensibly performs deep-sea research. By 2002, the boat had its missile tubes removed and the special compartments similar to those on Orenburg were installed. Indeed, externally, Podmoskovie looks very different from a standard Project 667BDRM boat aft of the sail and she appears to have had her hull lengthened.

    Podmoskovie is able to launch and recover unmanned underwater vehicles, which dock on top of the submarine where the missiles used to be located. One such unmanned submarine is the Klavesin-1R—which was developed by Russia’s Institute of Marine Technology. The unmanned submarine is able to dive to depths as great as 6000m—or nearly 20,000ft. The unmanned vessels are equipped with a variety of high and low frequency sonars.

    Podmoskovie is also thought to be able to host the secretive AS-12 Losharik—a nuclear-powered mini-submarine designed for intelligence and special operations missions at extreme depths—perhaps as great as 20,000ft. While very little is known about Losharik, the vessel is believed to be tasked with tapping undersea cables among its various other missions.

    Additionally, Podmoskovie will almost certainly host the Project 1851 Paltus and Project 1910 Kashalot nuclear-powered special operations mini-submarines. Like Losharik, the Paltus and Kashalot are thought to have both a research and military role. However, due to the level of secrecy surrounding these programs, there is very little information available about these vessels.

    It will take some time for Podmoskovie to complete its various sea trials, but all indications suggest that she will be a capable addition to the Kremlin’s arsenal when she returns to operational service. Podmoskovie is expected to joint the Russian Northern Fleet’s 29th Submarine Brigade when she rejoins the fleet.

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    • #92
      Re: Russian Fleet Movements

      Russia Sends Spy Ship Near US Coast, Deploys Banned Missiles At Home, Officials Say

      February 14, 2017

      A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such instance during the Trump administration -- and the same day it was learned the Kremlin had secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles inside Russia and flew within 200 yards of a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials told Fox News.

      The Russian ship was in international waters, 70 miles off the coast of Delaware and heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles.

      It was not immediately clear where the ship is headed.

      Later Tuesday, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that Russia had deployed ground-launched cruise missiles to two locations inside the country in December. The New York Times first reported that the Obama administration had previously seen the missiles -- then in a testing phase -- as a violation of a 1987 treaty between the U.S. and Russia that banned ground-launched intermediate-range missiles.

      But Russia has pressed ahead with its program, apparently testing a Trump administration which has sought better ties with Moscow -- but is also fresh off the loss of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday night in the wake of a scandal surrounding his communications with Russia.

      Adding to the aggressive actions, Fox News confirmed a report from The Washington Free Beacon that four Russian jets buzzed the USS Porter in the Black Sea on Friday. The destroyer was roughly 186 miles southwest of Crimea and roughly 50 miles off the coast of Romania, a U.S. official said.

      The jets buzzed the destroyer over course of “several hours,” the official said without specifying. A Russian IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft came in first, followed by two Su-24 attack jets, and then a single Su-24.

      All approached “low and fast,” the official added, saying the ship was conducting “routine operations in international waters.”

      The USS Porter made repeated radio calls to the Russian jets, but the calls were ignored. The jets had their transponders turned off, the official said.

      "There were several incidents involving multiple Russian aircraft," Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesman for the European Command, told The Free Beacon. "They were assessed by the commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional."

      The ship, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, last sailed near the U.S. in April 2015, an official said. It was also seen in Havana in January 2015.

      Capable of intercepting communications or signals, known as SIGINT, the ship can also measure U.S. Navy sonar capabilities, a separate official said.

      The Russian spy ship is also armed with surface-to-air missiles.

      “It’s not a huge concern, but we are keeping our eyes on it,” one official said.

      This action by the Russian military follows recent missile test launches by Iran and North Korea.

      In the past, Russian spy ships have loitered off the coast of Kings Bay, Ga., home to a U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine base. During the Cold War, Russian intelligence gathering ships routinely parked off U.S. submarine bases along the East Coast

      In September 2015, another Russian spy ship was spotted near the U.S. outside the submarine base in Kings Bay.

      Outside of U.S. intelligence gathering satellites monitoring the Russian spy ship’s voyage north, there are several airborne platforms along the East Coast that could be used by the U.S. military to monitor the Russian ship, according to one official.

      Currently there are four U.S. Navy warships in the Atlantic off the coast of Norfolk participating in normal training, but none have been tasked with shadowing the Russian spy ship.

      There are no U.S. Navy aircraft carriers nearby.

      The USS Eisenhower, an aircraft carrier, is currently off the coast of Florida doing carrier qualifications, with young pilots making their first landings. Ike does not currently have strike aircraft.

      Last April, Russian Su-24s buzzed the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea flying as low as 30 feet above the ocean and coming very close to the American warship.

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      • #93
        Re: Russian Fleet Movements

        Russian Spy Ship Again Visits U.S. East Coast

        It was observed traveling northward along the east coast, but outside of U.S. territorial waters

        March 16, 2017


        Th Russian navy's intelligence-gathering ship Viktor Leonov was observed traveling along the U.S. east coast Monday, well outside U.S. territorial waters. The same ship was seen in February near U.S. naval bases in Virginia and Connecticut.

        A Russian spy ship spotted in February off the U.S. east coast reappeared off the coast of Georgia, a U.S. military official said.

        The unidentified military official told NBC News that the Russian Navy's SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, an AGI-class trawler designed as a traveling radio-listening post, was seen 20 nautical miles off the coast on Monday, near the U.S. Navy submarine base at King's Bay, Ga. The ship was traveling northward and well outside of U.S. territorial waters as it conducted a legal routine transit. It is expected to travel up the eastern seaboard and then head to a port of call in Jamaica.

        The same ship was seen in February as it passed a naval base in Virginia and a submarine base in Connecticut. It caused controversy at the time because its voyage came as Russian jets buzzed a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea and the United States accused Russia of deploying cruise missiles in violation of an arms control treaty.

        Monday's passage provoked little notice from Washington.

        "We are about as concerned this time as we are every other time they do this," the official commented.

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        • #94
          Re: Russian Fleet Movements

          Russian Naval Activity In Europe Exceeds Cold War Levels: U.S. Admiral

          April 9, 2017

          Recent Russian naval activity in Europe exceeds levels seen during the Cold War, a top U.S. and NATO military officer said, voicing concern that the distributed nature of the deployments could end up "splitting and distracting" the transatlantic alliance.

          Navy Admiral Michelle Howard, who heads NATO's Allied Joint Force Command in Naples and commands U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, said Russia had clearly stepped up its naval actions in recent years although the size of its navy was smaller now than during the Cold War era.

          "We're seeing activity that we didn't even see when it was the Soviet Union. It's precedential activity," Howard told Reuters in an interview late on Saturday during a missile defense conference.

          Howard cited a wide range of activities, including Russia's deployment of its Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean, increased patrols in the north Atlantic and Arctic region, significant out-of-area submarine deployments, and submarine movement in the Black Sea.

          "They’re a global navy, I understand that. But the activity in this theater has substantially moved up in the last couple of years," Howard said.

          She said there was a danger that members of the NATO alliance would focus on the area of interest closest to them, while losing sight of Russian activities in other areas.

          "When ... you think about what happens when they move forces around, you look at the alliance and they end up splitting and distracting the view of the alliance," she said.

          Howard's comments came amid a sharp escalation in tensions between Russia and the United States after Washington launched 59 cruise missiles against an air base in Syria in retaliation for a deadly toxic gas attack that killed scores of people.

          Howard said the Russian naval maneuvers had been matched by increased persistent cyber attacks by Moscow, and a steady number of unprofessional "fly bys" by Russian aircraft of U.S. and other allied vessels at sea.

          Ties between Moscow and the West have been strained since Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014 and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

          NATO has built up physical forces in Poland and the Baltic states to build up a deterrent and underscore the strength of the alliance, but U.S. and European officials are also increasingly concerned about what they describe as Moscow's use of propaganda and cyber attacks to influence Western elections.

          Russia denies Washington's claim that Moscow sought to influence the U.S. election, and views NATO's buildup of troops in Europe as a provocation.

          Howard said members of NATO had rallied to increase their capabilities and send a clear signal about the strength and resolve of the alliance.

          She hailed a recent agreement by Germany and Norway to build new submarines together as a sign of increased cooperation and said she would welcome further efforts by European partners to pool resources.

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          • #95
            Re: Russian Fleet Movements

            Anyone have movements on the ship headed for the US Fleet in the area of Syria?
            Libertatem Prius!

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            • #96
              Re: Russian Fleet Movements

              Have not heard anything new on that one...

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