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
Operators: Soviet Navy, Russian Navy
Preceded by: Balzam class intelligence ship
Succeeded by: Yury Ivanov-class intelligence ship
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 Victor 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 Victor 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 vessel 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." Victor Leonov is a Vishnya-class spy ship, as is a Russian vessel that trailed the US ship that encountered close-flying Russian aircraft in the Black Sea on Friday.[5]


SSV-208 Kuril'y in 2005
  • SSV-520 Fedor Golovin (ex Meridian 1985- Baltic Fleet)
  • SSV-169 Tavriya (1986-Northern Fleet)
  • SSV-208 Kurily (1986-Pacific Fleet)
  • SSV-535 Kareliya (1986-Pacific Fleet)
  • SSV-201 Priazovye (1987 Black Sea Fleet)
  • SSV-175 Viktor Leonov (ex Odograf 1988 Northern Fleet)
  • SSV-231 Vasiliy Nikititch Tatischev (ex Pelengator Northern Fleet)

See also[edit]