Russian TYPHOON class Submarine off Norway (Unconfirmed)
The missmatched satellite imagery from August 27 appears to show the TYPHOON Class SSBN where Akademik Pashin should be.
The Russian Navy replenishment oiler Akademik Pashin (Pr.23130) has been sailing from Severomorsk to the Mediterranean. According to AIS (Automatic Information System) data collected by Marine Traffic, it left the Russian town on August 1. After that it headed up around the top of Norway and down through the Norwegian Sea into the North Sea. Then through the English Channel and, ultimately into the Mediterranean. At the time of writing she is North of Libya, heading East.
Akademik Pashin (Pr.23130)
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However, during her voyage she has been observed using various OSINT (Open Source intelligence) method. Frank Bottema noticed something which appears to contradict the AIS.
On August 27 she was 20 nm off Norway. Her track was cross-referenced with Sentinel-2 commercial satellite imagery. The image shows a vessel where Akademik Pashin should be, but it is bigger. In fact it closely resembles the Typhoon class submarine a the surface. The sole operational Typhoon, TK-208 Dmitriy Donskoi, has been observed in Sentinel satelite imagery before. So a close cross-reference could be made. Checks were also made using Sentinel-1 SAR (radar) imagery which also showed a larger vessel.
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TYPHOON TK-208 was also noted (80% confidence) in Severomorsk at the time Pashin left. Possibly Pashin's AIS is being used to cover for the submarine also, in which case it will appear in the Mediterranean. However the English Channel is very shallow so it is surprising that she was not spotted there. And there is a question of why the submarine would be going there. And if so, why take a route which brings it to the surface?
Possibly the satellite imagery does show Pashin off Norway. But it doesn't look like it.
Watch this space.
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