Russia's New GUGI Spy Ship Slips Her Moorings
There is growing interest in Russia's capabilities against internet cables. The Russian Navy's special mission submarines (spy subs) already give them an unrivaled fleet of seabed warfare assets. And now an increasing number of specially equipped surface ships are further expanding this capability.
Credible reports in Russian sources suggests that Russia's newest special spy ship has moved from its fitting out mooring. Evgeny Gorigledzhan is the sole Project 02670 'oceanographic research vessel' is now in Baltiysk. She is expected to start sea trials imminently.
She will be operated by GUGI (Main Directorate of Deep Sea Research) and will in many respects complement the famous (infamous?) spy ship Yantar. Like Yantar it is likely to operate in the gray zone between survey and espionage. Additionally, the vessel appears ice hardened.
Image United Shipbuilding Corporation.
The vessel previoussly served as, MB-305, a rescue tug. She was originally built at Szczecin shipyard, Poland in 1983. The modernization is extreme and transforms her both visually and in terms of capabilities. In her new guise she is equipped with up to two crewed submersibles, the same type operated by Yantar. Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are also likely to be carried.
AS-37 (pr.16810 "Rus") crewed deep-diving submersible. A second submersible, AS-39 (pr.16811 "Consul") is essentially similar.
The modification was carried out at the famous PSZ Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad on the Baltic. It started in 2016, with the past year spent sitting outside the shipyard being fitted out.
Dramatic before and after:
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