A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such patrol since President Trump took office, two U.S. officials told Fox News.
The Russian spy ship was 70 miles off the coast of Delaware, heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. That location means the ship is in international waters. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles. It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship was headed.
The ship, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov, last sailed near the U.S. in April 2015, an official said. 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. The Russian spy ship is also armed with surface-to-air missiles.
In the past, Russian spy ships have loitered off the coast of Kings Bay, Ga., home to a U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine base. During the Cold War, Russian intelligence gathering ships routinely parked off U.S. submarine bases along the East Coast. “It’s not a huge concern, but we are keeping our eyes on it,” one official said.