A new and ultramodern spy ship is ready for service and has been delivered to the Russian navy, media reports published Tuesday said. The reconnaissance vessel, the Yuri Ivanov, has been more than a decade in the making and is reportedly capable of gathering intelligence on missile defense systems. It is a part of Project 18280, which is expected to eventually produce a total of four medium intelligence ships.
The Yuri Ivanov -- named for a Russian military official who died in 2010 -- was delivered to the Russian navy in Kaliningrad as part of a ceremony marking Russia’s Navy Day, at the end of July. Russian President Vladimir Putin was in attendance, the news agency Pravda reported.
It is designed to “conduct electronic warfare” as well as “radio and electronic intelligence,” among other tasks, Anatoly Shlemov, head of Defense Procurement and Acquisition at Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation, told the news agency RIA Novosti in July.
— Kristian Sverre Uri (@kseuri) August 1, 2015
The largest ship of its class, the Yuri Ivanov is 95 meters (311.6 feet) long, with a displacement of approximately 4,000 tons, and has a range of 8,000 nautical miles while traveling at 16 knots. It has a crew of 120 and is equipped with equipment to conduct electronic intelligence surveillance by tracking radio signals and determining their origins.
Work on the Yuri Ivanov began in 2004, GlobalSecurity.org reported. It was built at the Severnaya Verf shipyard, which since 1992 has built military vessels ranging from destroyers and cruisers to anti-submarine ships. It also produces civilian ships and other items, such as furniture. The Yuri Ivanov was launched in St. Petersburg in September 2013 and was signed over to the Russian navy on Jan. 14, 2015.
The Yuri Ivanov is slated to be tested in the ocean in the fall of 2016. The navy is ultimately expected to have three other ships of the same class and capabilities. Construction on the second vessel in the series, the Ivan Khurs, which is designed to gather data on U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems, was approaching completion in July.