EXCLUSIVE: A sophisticated Russian spy ship deploys off Syria, Lebanon
The Russian Navy has just moved into position the advanced spy ship Yantar opposite the Lebanese coast at a point midway between Syria and Israel, DEBKAfile reports from exclusive military and intelligence sources. It is therefore located for moving at speed either to Syrian or to Israeli waters. The Balzam-class vessel is 344 ft long, mounts Medium Frequency sonar, High Frequency dipping sonar, Electronic warfare gear to include jammers, interception devices and code-breaking software. These ships were revolutionary when built in the 80s, when they carried not only intercept and direction-finding electronics but also the necessary computing power to feed raw signal data into on-board information processing computers.An Underway replenishment system was installed as well.