The RFS Yuriy Ivanov has been photographed closely monitoring HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group off the Scottish coast.

John Clark, who can be found on Twitter at @jrclarkbf800, captured an image of the vessel, his tweet is shown below. Thank you to John for allowing me to reproduce these images.

Pictured close to the intelligence gathering vessel are HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Defender.

The Yuriy Ivanov class is a signals intelligence collection ship.

Signals intelligence is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether communications between people or from electronic signals not directly used in communication. Essentially, the Russian vessel is gathering intelligence on the signals emitted by the group.

According to Armstrade.org, the ship was designed by the JSC Central Design Bureau Iceberg.

“The displacement of the ship is more than 4,000 tons, the cruising range not less than 8,000 miles (13,000 km) and its armament consists of light anti-aircraft weapons. The ship on its performance characteristics and capabilities is considerably superior to similar vessels of previous generations mainly due to the versatility and high level of automation and systems integration. The first ship, Yuriy Ivanov, was laid down in 2004 and was launched on 30 September 2013. The second ship, Ivan Khurs, was launched on 16 May 2017.”

What is the Carrier Strike Group doing?

HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group are currently exercising alongside allied nations in and around the Scottish islands as part of the massive Strike Warrior exercise.

HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea with a mix of British and American jets.

The Royal Navy say that Exercise Strike Warrior involves more than 20 warships, three submarines and 150 aircraft from 11 nations and is a final test for the Carrier Strike Group ahead of its first operational deployment to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific.

“The exercise, which will run for two weeks, will see the task group pitted against warships from NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 in waters off north-west Scotland to prove it is capable of undertaking high intensity operations against the most demanding adversaries. The culmination of Strike Warrior will see the Carrier Strike Group certified ready for deployment, at which point operational command will pass from the Royal Navy’s Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, to the Chief of Joint Operations, Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key.”

 

 

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DRS
DRS
3 months ago

Would the group go “silent” in this scenario or can’t due to operational requirements to co-ordinate exercise? Is there such a thing as doing comms via a laser connection if you need to go silent? I know doesn’t work well with fog etc, but could you have something stabilized pointing ship to ship or too hard to do? I presume directional microwaves out of the question as don’t want to cook sailors 🙂

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

You would just accept that they are going to be there listening and try and keep your full capabilities from being on show, i.e. not using the full range of your abilities/broadcast power.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

All part of the game mate.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

May as well just use signal lights and flags if your that concerned.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Probably saying to them, “Hi There” and “Dear John”

Nathan
Nathan
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Surely you start waxing lyrical about your warp drive and disruptor cannons in such circumstances?

Nick C
Nick C
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

The ship I was in did plane guard for the USS Intrepid in the 1970’s, when she was operating as an ASW carrier, with Trackers and Sea Kings. We went silent on radar and most comms, and she continued to operate her aircraft. We lost our tailing AGI in some fairly thick weather, she found us again two days later, someone had let a radar do two complete revolutions while transmitting and that was enough for her to get a useable bearing on the force. Whether it could be done today I don’t know.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Yeah I’m curious they say Aesa radars are much harder to track but they must emmit some form of radiation. Brings it back to the fawlkands war scenario where you have to decide is it better to be visible with your eyes open or turn off the radar in the hope they won’t find you either

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Passive and indirect radar are at a whole different level now.

You would have relatively few radars running fully active in today’s environment.

BB85
BB85
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

I think they speak to each other in Welsh backwards.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

All vessels abide by the in force EMCON policy. EMCOM ( EMISSIONS CONTROL) states what you can transmit on and at what frequencies. EMCON varies according to your location to land and proximity of vessels or aircraft. RED is the tightest policy and heavily restricts the use of specific frequencies and transmitters especially with a listener nearby.

It won’t restrict day to day activity that much but you need to watch what you transmit on or what you say over an open radio channel.

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago

Hello George, not sure if you will see this but, Any chance you could do an article about the PLAN please ? Just to highlight what they actually have now, I really think people would find it interesting if not a little bit surprising to see just how many and what capability they now possess. Their equivalent of our RFA is gathering pace, their Destroyers and Frigates number 100 plus and I’d like to see the comments here. Many thanks.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

That is a good call.

Particularly if George can dig up reliable quotes from anyone who has seen them up close.

China has a big fleet, no doubt at all.

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago

Well, That’s just how I see it to be honest mate. “We” are all too quick to dismiss them but really, we should be taking a close look at their advances in tech and Capability. Some on here believe they are not a true “Blue Water” Navy but I reckon that’s rubbish, it might have been the case a few Decades ago but not now….. Let’s see what they actually have now on here….. after all, we are sailing to show our resolve in their own AOI.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Hi mate. I don’t think it really matters what we think, the RN, Gov, MOD and our intelligence services will know exactly what capabilities China has/has not, and what it will be capable of today and in the next few year’s. The RN isn’t trying to out gun China on our own, but as a Allied force if heaven forbid we did ever have to enter a conflict with China. China would very much have it’s hands full. The USA on it’s own could still handle China. It’s building at a rapid rate and has a large fleet. But still… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I agree with you in that the best way to bring China to heel would be economically – this has been demonstrated with 5G and chip tech. China is very dependant on the West for some things: principally money. Cut that off and the standard of living will plummet and China will have a very unhappy population that is hard to control. China is no longer very cheap for manufacturing or viewed as a reliable international partner after the stunts pulled over PPE contracts and other things during the last couple of years. Globalisation at all costs, as a cure… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago

Hi mate. Great reply. I’ll try and dig our the vessel list I saw that will be F35 capable. At least 19 are American, Nimitz/Ford class and the LPHD’s. The other 10 are QE class, Italy, Japan, Australia ect. Of course not all of those vessels will be available at any one time, but you get the idea. 👍

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago

It’s not really about us the West making them rich, I see it as us the West giving them the Money to make the tools to exact historical revenge…… Let’s face it, we allied with Japan and nothing I see in the direction they are taking, including building a Blue Water Navy will make me think different. Come on George, please show us what they are building mate. It’s Eye Watering to be fair. Robert, It’s numbers that win Wars mate.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

I’d say it’s capability and who has the best situational awareness that wins. Certainly in today’s technical age. But hey, what [email protected]@k do I know. 😄

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Ha, I don’t really know what you know though mate…. That’s the thing about this place really…. no-one actually knows what any of us know do they ? I do believe you know a fair bit more than me though but i also think my Imagination probably has the edge over yours so we probably think in equal measures just not along the same lines though !!!! Either way, I like your post’s and I’m more than happy to be proved wrong mate. 👌

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

It’s not about proving anyone wrong mate. International politics and relations is a complicated business. In terms of our military, 6 x T45’s aren’t really going to cut it against 50 plus PLAN escorts, no matter how capable they are. But it’s never going to be the RN V PLAN. But as part of a collation task group, we could cause them some serious headaches. Let’s hope we never have to find out.

the_marquis
the_marquis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

That’s what the Chinese think, too, after their J-11s got spanked by Thai Gripens a couple years back! That and training. I think in fairness to the PLA, they are aware of their deficiencies and are trying to rectify them. But ultimately, they will be limited in their training partners, which is where NATO and the SEATO-esque alliances are so strong

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  the_marquis

I would agree to a point. Nothing beats experience. Exposure to Red Flags or Joint Warrior style exercises are pretty much priceless for building combat experience. I’m not sure what the Chinese do on that front. They are catching up rapidly, but still nothing close to matching a Nimitz class carrier and it’s airwing, let alone 4-5 of them deployed. Or the USN nuclear hunter killer sub fleet.

Andy a
Andy a
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Course the carrier edge doesn’t mean much against few hundred df21!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

First the have to find the vessels they trying to target. The kill chain is incredible complex, and very difficult to pull off. especially against a modern Western warship.

the_marquis
the_marquis
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Ah yeah i meant the PLA are trying to rectify their training deficiencies, trying to institute their own Red Flag etc but that’s not something that be done overnight, and also another element is a change of ethos is needed also. In terms of equipment, they are as you say behind the US, although they do appear to be keen to play catch-up! Whether this is a good strategy for them though is another matter. It might be in their interests not to just have everything that the US has, but develop new kit which can provide an asymmetric advantage.… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
3 months ago
Reply to  the_marquis

When did the j11 come up against gripen?

Paul T
Paul T
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

In Exercises i believe,the Gripen had the edge in BVR but once distances closed the J11 had an advantage in Power and Manoeuvrability.

the_marquis
the_marquis
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Also the PLAAF jets had the R-73 missile and i think helmet mounted cueing, while the Thai Gripens were only equipped with AIM-9L Sidewinders, not the 9X or IRIS-T that Swedish/NATO Gripens are equipped with, and no helmet mounted cueing system, which could’ve allowed for high off boresight shots to offset the su27/J-11’s power advantage in WVR exercises.

the_marquis
the_marquis
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

The PLA and the Thai Air Force have been doing exercises every year i think for the last 5-6 years before covid, but the notorious one was in 2015. It might technically have been Su27s not J-11s that were involved that year, when the Gripen scored high numbers of kills in BVR combat. In subsequent years late-model J-11s and J-10s have been sent and it’s been more equal in BVR engagements.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Going back to everyone’s favourite example ’82. We have far more navy than Argentina had. It was the ‘something else’ that actually was near disastrous factor.

I totally agree that the West is giving China the tools and latitude to take over lumps of the globe – be it revenge or just being on the make. And the democratic world has woken up very late to this creeping and malevolent influence.

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago

Ha, It’s not my favourite time personally though mate, I was young and Stupid ( lol, waiting for the predictable…. ) but I would like to add the fact that “We” were really lucky in so many ways… not least in the fact that “Their Bombs” mostly failed to go off. Mostly…… 😢 But on the Geographical front, We were only trying to regain our Islands, not the Mainland. We have no such Territory in the SCS nowadays and mainland China with it’s 1.4 Billion People might just be another Bridge too far.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

I was sent off to do something else: somewhere else.

But I don’t think anyone is suggesting UK are going to use QEC’s to invade the Chinese mainland? Or have I missed something?

I do think that the international community has got to stand up to China appropriating sea space by buying/acquiring/creating islands.

Then there is the issue of them buying UN votes by debt leverage. It is very unhealthy.

West-of-the-Pond
West-of-the-Pond
3 months ago

“The problem more arises when the population gets restive and a distraction is needed.” -Supportive Bloke Ah yes, Supportive Bloke. The classic Theory of Rising Expectations. It occurs when an authoritarian government gradually allows more liberty and economic freedoms over time, which causes the expectations of its people to rise. When economic conditions cause the government to suddenly pull back these freedoms, this can prompt instability or, in severe cases, revolution. China has seen years of growth that have raised the standard of living and more freedom for its citizens. Their challenge is to maintain this growth. This must be… Read more »

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Yes mate Totally agree with you on every count but, there are and will be a lot more “But’s” soon, mark my words mate….. You don’t get away with bashing a Wasps nest and come away un stung……

CAM
CAM
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

China’s economy is being driven because a lot of things are ‘made in China’ that money is being used in defence and security. They are building nice roads in certain African countries where the government is corrupt and which aren’t even able to pay China for the work giving China increased power in these countries. I completely agree with you that they may not start WW3 but people need to be told what China is up to behind the scenes.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  CAM

Very true mate. They are certainly trying to spread their influence around the world. But I think they have a way to go to topple the mighty Dollar. Time will tell. They certainly have the ambition.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Indeed. MOD has long planned force structures around a series of plausible conflict scenarios. The more probably conflict scenarios involving China also involve the US military- hence the emphasis on interoperability.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Exactly Ian. We would never go it alone against China. Which is why our kit has to be compatible with the Americans.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

The Chinese are coming to the Atlantic.
https://iafrica.com/leaving-sierra-leones-coastline-bare/

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It’s called “Empire Building” mate ….. Money talks, as History shows. China is building another Dynasty from what I can see.

Nick C
Nick C
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Agreed that is a very good call. Bearing in mind that the CSG are going to be moving east quite soon I would not be surprised if they don’t pick up the PLAN equivalent AGI fairly quickly once they get into the Indian Ocean. I’m sure that one of George’s guest contributors can get a simple users guide together, or point us in the direction of interesting info.

captain p wash
captain p wash
3 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

👌

Ron
Ron
3 months ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Morning Capt. Hows the world. I starting going through my books and online to see what I could dig up. I’ll put something together over the next few days and give it to George. Anyway whilst digging I did notice a few things, China seems to be doing stuff diffrently. The way the navy is being built reminds me of the Soviet Navy and how it is tied to the land and bases. The Large destroyers have relitivly short range (5000 miles), the frigates have longer 8000 mile range but with a radar suite that would be seen as about… Read more »

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
3 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Morning to you too Ron,My World is a strange place truth be known but every day is a bonus !!!! I guess It’s little steps they are taking but ~They do have some 16 Replenishment ships listed including 2 new 48000 ton type 901’s and 10 type 903’s at 25000 tons. Plus an active search for overseas bases including the west coast of Africa….. So I guess they are doing this for a reason. I shall look forward to seeing what you and George come up with mate.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
3 months ago

Just about the 1 st target should anything ever kick off with Russia. 

dan
dan
3 months ago

Yep everyone does it. But when it happens to the Chinese they start crying like a 2 year old. lol

Jason
Jason
3 months ago

I’d be more surprised if they hadn’t turned up for look, and listen.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

You can always spot a Russki ship, the tow lines and the tug give it away…..

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago

Could a type 45 frazzle its electronics by using it’s high powered radar very close by? Or QE and battle group could just head off mid atlantic and see if the Russian ship can keep up at 28 knots, before it breaks down