Russian spy ship spotted off the East Coast of United States

SSV-175 Viktor Leonov

This morning a Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the coast of Deleware, according to two U.S. officials.

The Russian spy ship was heading north, just 70 miles off the coast, at a speed of 10 knots.  The U.S. territory line off the coast is only 12 nautical miles, so the ship is still in international waters.

It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed, but it is the first time a patrol of this nature has been conducted since Trump took office.

The ship, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, last sailed near the U.S. in April 2015, an official told Fox News.

The ship is capable of intercepting communications or signals, known as SIGINT, as well as measuring U.S. Navy sonar capability, a separate official said.

“It’s not a huge concern, but we are keeping our eyes on it,” one official said.

The Navy has not deployed any ships to shadow the Russian ship. Currently there are four U.S. Navy warships in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia participating in normal training.  The USS Eisenhower, is off the coast of Florida conducting carrier qualifications for junior pilots.

U.S. intelligence satellites are tracking the Russian spy ship’s movement north and, according to an official, there are several “airborne platforms along the East Coast that could be used by the U.S. military to monitor the Russian ship.”

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