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.
— john Clark (@jrclarkbf800) May 12, 2021
Pictured close to the intelligence gathering vessel are HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Defender.
🇷🇺#Russian #Navy intelligence ship RFS Yuriy Ivanov of the North Fleet of the Russian Navy shadowing the Carrier Strike Group of the 🇬🇧@RoyalNavy at the North Atlantic during exercise #StrikeWarrior in May 2021. Photo credit h/t @jrclarkbf800 pic.twitter.com/WW527Tm98U
— Capt(N) (@Capt_Navy) May 18, 2021
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.
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.”