US defense officials said that a Russian spy ship has been located 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut. After a Russian warplane recently carried out a”mock attack” against US ship.
According to the officials this was the farthest north the Russian spy vessel has ever ventured.
The Leonov, which conducted similar patrols back in 2014 and 2015, was off the coast of Delaware on Wednesday, but it typically only travels as far as Virginia.
The Russian spy ship is based with the northern fleet in the North Sea. But, it stopped over in Cuba before conducting its patrol along the Atlantic Coast and is being expected to return there following its latest mission.
The vessel is designed to intercept signals intelligence, and it is also outfitted with a variety of technology spying equipment.
The officials of the U.S. Navy said that they were keeping a close eye on the spy ship.
The Leonov is a Vishnya-class spy ship, as is a Russian vessel that trailed the American ship that encountered close-flying Russian aircraft in the Black Sea on last week’s Friday.
When the USS Porter had three encounters with the Russian aircraft on Friday (10 Feb) it was sailing in the Black Sea.
According to a senior defense official they were deemed unsafe and unprofessional because of how close the Russian planes flew to the American destroyer,
The Pentagon later released pictures of the encounter.
Another official of the defense said that one of the planes, an armed Su-24 attack jet, flew within 200 yards of the Porter, traveling at a speed of 500 knots (about 570 mph) and flying 300 feet above the water.
The Navy said the aircraft did not cross the deck of the Porter but assessed that the Su-24 was carrying out a "mock attack" on the American ship, according to the official.
Russia had denied on Tuesday (Feb 14) that its aircraft had made any unsafe moves.
The spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov said to Russian state media, that there was no incident on February 10 involving fly by of Russian military planes in the Black Sea next to USS Porter."