Russia has developed a series of reconnaissance ships capable of infiltrating U.S. missile defenses, claimed German newspaper Bild in a Thursday report. The first ship to have been commissioned, known as the Admiral Yury Ivanov, will be able to "track and follow" U.S. warships equipped with the Aegis sea-based combat system that is designed to intercept short to intermediate ballistic missiles.
The ship, which was delivered to Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad on Russia's Navy day on July 26 with President Vladimir Putin in attendance, will have a cruising range of 8,000 nautical miles and boasts some of the most advanced naval technology available, according to the German media report.
It will also be able to provide fleet management and communications, gather radio and electronic intelligence and conduct electronic warfare. The second ship in the class, known as the Ivan Khurs, will be delivered in 2016. In total, there will be four ships from of this type.
The news of more advanced ship and submarine building will come as no surprise to many as the Kremlin aggressively attempts to modernize Russia's previously outdated Cold-War style military. The Admiral Yury Ivanov was unveiled on the same day as Russia issued its new maritime doctrine that aims to quell U.S. and NATO expansion into Eastern Europe.
As part of Moscow's new military posture, the country has expanded its naval reach to the regions where it has not traditionally hosted patrols, such as the Pacific, Arctic, Mediterranean and Atlantic. The moves have caused alarm inside NATO that sees Russian expansion as destabilizing for Europe and the West.
Likewise, Russia views NATO's expansion over the last 15 years, which has absorbed many former Soviet countries, as hostile and imperialistic.
The modernization and expansion of Russia’s military, which is set to cost upwards of $400 billion and be complete by 2020, has come with issues. Repeated jet and bomber crashes across Russia's Air Force has led to speculation that the military is being stretched too its limits as Putin demands parity with the United States.