Vishnya-class intelligence ship

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USS Texas (CGN-39) and Soviet AGI Kareliya (SSV-535) 1988.jpg
SSV-535 Kareliya and USS Texas (CGN-39) in 1988
Class overview
Builders: Stocznia Północna, Gdańsk, Poland
Preceded by: Balzam class intelligence ship
Succeeded by: Yury Ivanov-class intelligence ship
Planned: 7
Completed: 7
Active: 7
General characteristics
Type: Intelligence collection ship
Displacement: 3,470 tons full load
Length: 91.5 m
Beam: 14.6 m
Draught: 4.5 m
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 Sulzer diesels, 4,400 bhp
Speed: 16 knots
Complement: 146 (= 6 passengers)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Sonar: Pamyat hull mounted arrays, HF dipping
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Intercept arrays

2 AK-630 six-barreled Gatling 30 mm/L60 guns

2 SA-N-8 surface-to-air missiles

The Vishnya class (also known as the Meridian class) are a group of intelligence collection ships built for the Soviet Navy in the 1980s. The ships continue in service with the Russian Navy.[1] The Soviet designation is Project 864. The Russian Navy operates seven of these ships.[2]


These ships are large, purpose built ships designed for signals intelligence gathering via an extensive array of sensors.[3] The data could be transmitted to shore via satellite link antennas housed in two large radomes. The ships are armed with two AK-630 close-in weapon systems and SA-N-8 SAM launchers, for last resort self-defense.


Vasily Tatishchev was deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean on 5 October 2015 to monitor the conflict in Syria.[4]

On February 15, 2017, CNN reported that SSV Viktor Leonov, a Russian spy ship sits 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut, a US defense official told CNN. This is the farthest north the Russian spy vessel has ever ventured, according to US defense official. CNN reported that Viktor Leonov, which conducted similar patrols in 2014 and 2015, was off the coast of Delaware Wednesday, but typically she only travels as far as Virginia. The ship is based with Russia's northern fleet on the North Sea but had stopped over in Cuba before conducting her patrol along the Atlantic Coast and is expected to return there following her latest mission. The ship is outfitted with a variety of high-tech spying equipment and is designed to intercept signals intelligence. The official said that the US Navy is "keeping a close eye on it." Viktor Leonov is a NATO reporting name Vishnya-class spy ship, as is a Russian ship that trailed the US ship that encountered close-flying Russian aircraft in the Black Sea on Friday.[5]


SSV-208 Kuril'y in 2005
Name Hull No. Laid down Launched Commissioned Fleet Status Notes
Fedor Golovin
520 14 November 1985 Baltic Fleet Active
Kareliya 535 5 July 1986 Pacific Fleet Active Repairs and retrofit completed on 20 July 2017.[6][7]
Tavriya 169 17 January 1987 Northern Fleet Active
Priazovye 201 12 June 1987 Black Sea Fleet Active
Kurily 208 16 October 1987 Pacific Fleet Active
Vasiliy Tatishchev
231 27 November 1987 23 July 1988 Baltic Fleet Active
Viktor Leonov
175 1988 Northern Fleet Active

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Project 864".
  3. ^
  4. ^ Pike, John. "Vishnya class".
  5. ^ Ryan Browne; Barbara Starr. "Russian spy ship lurks off Connecticut coast". CNN.
  6. ^
  7. ^