Russia’s new secret reconnaissance ship enters Mediterranean Sea

The Russian Navy’s latest oceanographic reconnaissance ship, the Yantar, has entered the Mediterranean Sea, reports, citing the Turkish websites which monitor the passage of ships through the Bosphorus.

According to the websites, the Russian ship departed from Novorossiysk on Saturday October 7, and its final destination is the Victoria Harbor in the Pacific Ocean province of British Columbia.

Meanwhile, observers comment that this destination is fictional.

The Pentagon believes that the Yantar is a reconnaissance vessel which is gathering information on the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN), underwater sensors, and other equipment used by American submarines.

The Yantar, part of the Russian Navy since 2015, has made numerous long trips.

According to the Pentagon’s report, in 2015, US military vessels identified the Yantar in the region of the Kings Bay (state of Georgia) naval base, where six Ohio-class submarines armed with Trident II SLBMs are stationed, and also at the primary base of the US Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk (state of Virginia).

In October 2016, the Yantar remained stationary for nearly three days at a point not far from Syrian Latakia where the Turkish submarine communications cable Turtcyos-2 is located. The cable connects the Turkish province of Hatay with the unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Yantar subsequently moved further south toward the Lebanese coast, where it remained in the region close to Tripoli, at a point over the Lebanese line of the I-ME-WE international submarine cable, which connects Europe, the Middle East and India.

Western military experts believe that the reconnaissance vessel may have deployed submersible remote-controlled unmanned vessels or deep-water manned bathyscaphes at the places where it remained stationary.

The Yantar is the primary vessel of project 22010 developed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. The ship’s displacement is 5,200 tons, its length is 108.1 meters, and its breadth is 17.2 meters. Alongside the submersible unmanned vessels, the Yantar might carry the deep-water manned bathyscaphes Rus, Konsul and Mir.

  Russian ships, Russia