New Russian spy ship to keep tabs on Norway

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Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates the crew of the Northern Fleet ship to mark the country's Navy Day in Severomorsk, Russia on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Presidential Press Service/AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates the crew of the Northern Fleet ship to mark the country’s Navy Day in Severomorsk, Russia on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Mikhail Klimentyev/Presidential Press Service/AP)
The “Yuri Ivanov” will patrol in the Arctic and keep a close eye on neighbor and NATO member Norway.

It has taken Russia 11 years to complete the vessel which will become the Northern Fleet’s new key instrument in monitoring Arctic waters. The 4000 ton deadweight ship is built by the Northern Yard in Sankt Petersburg and will be based in Severomorsk, the Northern Fleet base town.

The St. Andrew’s Flag, the Russian Navy’s ensign, was raised on the vessel during a navy parade in Baltiisky, Kaliningrad Oblast, this week. The ship will now head north to take on its duties in the Northern Fleet, the Russian military informs on its website. With its high level of multi-functionality and automatization, the ship significantly exceeds the capacities of its corresponding predecessors, the Navy press services add.

More vessels to be built

As previously reported, the “Yury Ivanov” will be the Russian fleet’s largest vessel of its class. The 95 meters long, 16 meters wide ship will have a crew of 120 and be equipped with hi-tech instruments for electronic intelligence collection.

A total of four vessels of the kind (project 18280) are planned built. The construction of the second vessel, the “Ivan Kurs”, was started in 2013 and is due to be completed in 2016. Russia’s current intelligence vessels were built in the 1980s and do not meet modern technology standards.

Norway’s new surveillance ship
Norway's spy ship the Marjata  will be equipped with sensors and other technology to snoop on Russia's activities in the Arctic beginning in 2016. (Norwegian Military/AP)
Norway’s spy ship the Marjata will be equipped with sensors and other technology to snoop on Russia’s activities in the Arctic beginning in 2016. (Norwegian Military/AP)

The “Yuri Ivanov” is arriving in the north just few months ahead of Norway’s new intelligence vessel, also that built for operations in the Arctic. That vessel, named “Marjata” will be operational in 2016. According to the Norwegian Armed Forces, the ship will be “the world’s most advanced surveillance ship of its kind”.

Related stories from around the North:

Denmark:  Nordics to step up security cooperation on perceived Russian threat, Yle News

Finland: Finland confirms 6th Russian airspace violation in just over a year, Yle News

Norway: Norway must ramp up military in response to Russia: report, Barents Observer

Russia: Russia’s new maritime doctrine to strengthen Arctic presence, Barents Observer

Sweden:  New security landscape in the Arctic, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. general says Alaska military cuts not final without Arctic plan, Alaska Public Radio Network

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Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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