Steffan Watkins  Profile picture
Mar 6, 2018 53 tweets 33 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
🇺🇸 #USNavy Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton (Reg 168457|ICAO:AE5C72) has been aloft for ~7hrs, and is now off the coast of North Carolina at 50,000ft.
Russian Navy Viktor Leonov hasn't been seen leaving Feb 25 🤔
h/t @LepontDahu @GDarkconrad
#ADSB #SpyShip
I'm going out on a limb and speculating that Viktor Leonov is back off the coast of Florida, but without visual confirmation from a local, in a boat, out at sea, off Daytona Beach past 12NM, I can't be certain.
The pattern, altitude, and heuristics look VERY similar to last year.
The middle of the orbit would put them at 24NM from shore. While inside 12NM is American waters, between 12NM and 24NM is the Contiguous Zone, which the US does have some additional rights in. Viktor Leonov could be just on the outside of 24NM, in the center of the orbit
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon (Reg.168859|ICAO:AE57BF) Callsign 00000000 may have replaced 168848|AE57B4. It seems like they are circling something that has moved Northwest from its earlier position this morning.
Jacksonville is a favourite hang out of Viktor Leonov's.
Just sayin'.
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon (Reg.168860|ICAO:AE57C0) Callsign <blank>, I'm confident, is circling the Russian Navy AGI Viktor Leonov, based on alt, speed, progression up the coast at a slow rate of speed, history, and my gut. ;)
#Florida #Jacksonville #SpyShip
Someone got shy and doesn't want to transmit their altitude anymore...

You're not on the ground, jacka$s.
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon (Reg.168860|ICAO:AE57C0) Callsign <blank> is most likely orbiting the Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel Viktor Leonov, which is likely currently loitering 24NM East of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, as it does on it's ~yearly visits. #SpyShip
So, how many amateur radio enthusiasts are listening to Marine VHF 16 around Jacksonville FL today? If Viktor Leonov is off the coast, they will be hailing their shadow, or being hailed by their shadow, over Ch 16, then switch to another channel.

The Russian Navy abides by international maritime conventions, communicating over the public airwaves, and standard internationally recognized hailing frequencies. That the American government doesn't tell us where the ship is located is an annoyance, but not insurmountable. #ВМФ
Unfortunately, if the ship has ventured farther North, up the East coast, they'll be out of Marine VHF range from Jacksonville, and we won't hear jack-sh*t, unless they are in range of Horry and Georgetown Counties Marine's VHF 16 feed, in South Carolina.…
Russian Navy Viktor Leonov last year:
‘USS Farragut (DDG 99)hailing Viktor Leonov (2017-03-24 ~0800)’…
Russian Navy Viktor Leonov last year:
'Viktor Leonov hailing USS Farragut (DDG 99)(2017-03-25 ~1000)'…
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon (Reg.168428|ICAO:AE4EB2) Callsign 00000000 is most likely orbiting the Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel Viktor Leonov, which is likely loitering in international waters, East of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay ( as it does almost every year. )
Eventually you'll be able to make a flip-book of these...
Twin P-8As flying off Jacksonville FL in Viktor Leonov's usual sweet spot. The weather doesn't look too bad either.

No information on who's been tasked to shadow the ship this time. #USSCole again? They were last seen docked in Norfolk on the 5th.
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon (Reg.168440|ICAO:AE4EBE) Callsign 00000000 is circling an area much further away from shore than yesterday.
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon back out there in the same area.

If they're following the Russian Navy AGI Viktor Leonov, Viktor isn't doing SIGINT on any shore-based assets from way out there, that's for sure.

Hey, about that General Dynamics #DRAPES contract...
🇺🇸 #USNavy P-8A Poseidon off Cape Canaveral, another favourite haunt of Viktor Leonov; or totally unrelated. Can't really tell, since the US Navy hasn't said a peep about their East Coast deployment in a month.
2018-03-08: Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon publishes confirmation from the #USNavy that the Russian Navy AGI Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов is conducting operations off the US East Coast, again. #ВМФ #России

Did anyone notice the @USNavy didn't say:

1. How long the the Russians will be there? (2mo. total, so end of March)
2. That Viktor Leonov restocked & returned?
3. Which USN ship is shadowing it?
4. Why the USN didn't announce it earlier?
5. Will the USN announce when they leave?
2018-03-09: Sputnik quoted the aforementioned Washington Free Beacon article…
Winner! Gagnant! #SpyShip

🇺🇸 #USNavy Boeing P-8A Poseidon (Reg.169336|ICAO:AE5C62) Callsign 00000000 may be orbiting Russian Navy "Spy Ship" Viktor Leonov off Port Canaveral, where US submarines take on munitions.
(Unrelated) Video from last year showing a #USNavy #SSN coming into Port Canaveral.
🇺🇸 #USNavy Boeing P-8A Poseidon (Reg.169336|ICAO:AE5C62) Callsign 00000000 may be orbiting Viktor Leonov off Port Canaveral, and has now been doing so for over 4.5hrs.
Russian Navy "Spy Ship" Viktor Leonov arrived in Havana Cuba this morning, actually, is arriving, right now. This signals the end of their East Coast operation phase, but they have another couple months of operations before getting home.
I'm unsure if they'll head to the Mediterranean next, as they did last year, with a stop in Cyprus, or if they'll head to Nicaragua, as they've done before. We'll see!
The Daily Star Uk is on the case:…
Russian Navy Intelligence gathering ship Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов departed Havana Cuba this morning. Next stop... Nicaragua? Cyprus? Back to the US East Coast (that's the least likely)?

The #USNavy will continue to monitor & not tell us anything.

2018-03-10: Liga News publishes an article and paraphrases me, with an ever so slight difference in spin. They got my meaning better than I wrote it, repeating a previous reason the Pentagon cited for their mission; finding US sub paths.…
US and Russian statements agree(!); their mission has multiple purposes, one of which is to figure out ingress and egress paths of US submarines, likely ballistic as well as fast-attack subs.
Viktor Leonov? Is that you?
Really nothing conclusive. If successive #USNavy P-8 flights stay on station for 4-7 hrs, then I'll be considerably more convinced. #ВМФ
🇷🇺 Russian Navy Vishnya-class (NATO) / Meridian|Меридиан-class project|проекта №864 intelligence-gathering ship Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов may have gone back to #Trinidad & Tobago 🇹🇹 for a 3rd time this year.

Viktor can't get enough of that Soca music! #ВМФ #PortOfSpain
🇷🇺 Russian Navy "Spy Ship" Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов is back in #Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹 for a 3rd time this year, resting and resupplying before heading out to sea for the 4th month of their ~yearly deployment to the Western Atlantic.
#ВМФ #PortOfSpain
Unfortunately, I'm having difficulty figuring out exactly where in Port of Spain the Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов is presently docked. Their usual spot was occupied by the @PrincessCruises Caribbean Princess on 2018-03-26 when they sailed in.
#ВМФ #PortOfSpain #TrinidadandTobago
So if you happen to be lucky enough to be in 🇹🇹 #TrinidadandTobago #PortOfSpain and see the 🇷🇺 Russian Navy "Spy Ship" Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов, a 300ft grey steel military vessel, please let me know where you saw the ship, if you don't mind. Thank you. #SpyShip #ВМФ
🇷🇺 Russian Navy "Spy Ship" Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов departed the Port of Point Lisas 🇹🇹 #TrinidadandTobago today. Huge thank you to @KejanHaynes who is the only person that I know of to comment on the ship's arrival or departure!

Thank you sir!!

...and yes, I now know the difference between the Port of Point Lisas and Port of Spain.

I'm learning more Caribbean geography than was ever covered in school, that's for sure! ;)
Let me correct the record as far as I understand it:

🇷🇺 Russian Navy Meridian|Меридиан-class project|проекта №864 intelligence-gathering ship Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов arrived in Port of Spain 🇹🇹 2018-03-26, left 2018-03-29.

#ВМФ #PortOfSpain #TrinidadandTobago #Trinidad
🇷🇺 Russian Navy Vishnya-class (NATO) / Meridian|Меридиан-class project|проекта №864 intelligence-gathering ship Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов arrived in Port of Point Lisas 🇹🇹 2018-03-29 and left mid-afternoon 2018-03-30.

#ВМФ #PointLisas #TrinidadandTobago #Trinidad
If you've got additional details or corrections for the record, tell me! :)
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Russian spy ship visits T&T again
h/t @openfeed…
( there is one glaring error - that is totally my fault - in there which I've asked if it can be corrected, because it's embarrassing 😬)
🇷🇺 Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel (or "Spy Ship") Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов is currently docked at Praia, on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde 🇨🇻 and likely headed into the Mediterranean, like they did last yr.
#CaboVerde #ВМФ #SpyShip #CapeVerde #BreakingNews
They departed Trinidad & Tobago on March 30th, and arrived in the last day or so. They can't possibly be out of food, so why the stop?
Picking up, or dropping off, a diplomatic bag? 🤔
They aren't stopping because they're low on food (or they shouldn't be), but by stocking up (if they do) they'll have 30+ days of endurance for the next leg of their deployment. Last year they arrived home 2017-06-11.
Still time for a jaunt in the Mediterranean first.
Confirmed, Viktor Leonov arrived in Cape Verde on 2018-04-09, per the port authority. h/t @miguelsantos_s!
🇷🇺 Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel, or "Spy Ship" if you prefer, Viktor Leonov arrived in Cape Verde on 2018-04-09, departed 2018-04-12 per the port authority. h/t @miguelsantos_s! Thank you! #ВМФ
🇷🇺 Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel Viktor Leonov arrived in Havana Cuba on 2018-03-16 and left 2018-03-19; but I didn't know exactly where she parked, until now! #ВМФ
🇷🇺 Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов was in the Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹 from 2018-02-22 to 2018-02-25; they departed for Praia, Cape Verde 🇨🇻
Pictured by #PlanetLabs #3m #4Band #PlanetScope 2018-02-23
#ВМФ #SpyShip
🇷🇺 Russian Navy intelligence-gathering vessel Viktor Leonov departed Praia, Cape Verde 🇨🇻 on 2018-04-12. Since they have not been seen in, or entering, the Mediterranean, and it's still too early for them to go home, I predict they'll appear at #JointWarrior. #ВМФ #SpyShip 🔮

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Steffan Watkins 

Steffan Watkins  Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @steffanwatkins

Sep 12, 2018
I'd like to tell you that TASS is spreading #OpenSkiesTreaty disinfo, but no, they are 100% correct.

The US delegation, for absolutely no technical or treaty-related reason, refuses to certify the new Tu-214, that uses the exact same digital camera as their Tu-154, used in 2017.
The OSCC vote to certify the Tu-214ON was unanimous, other than the US delegation who were told "from the top" not to sign-off. All provisions, limitations, and questions, were addressed before the final vote, and the US pulling out seems to have caught all allies unaware.
Certification of a new aircraft requires unanimous OSCC member consent.

The U.S. is 1 of 34 signatory countries to the treaty.

The U.S. is the only country to not approve certifying the plane (without explanation) despite all technical and procedural issues being addressed.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 22, 2018
"Typhoons launched .. on August 21 when two suspected Russian Su-30 Flanker aircraft appeared to be heading toward NATO airspace from the Crimea region."

The thin purple line over water is the limit of any country's airspace airspace
My ugly blue line represents NATO.
It is 300km-500km from Crimea to "NATO Airspace". My math is probably wrong, but isn't that a 10 minute flight if they break the sound barrier? If it took them longer than that, they weren't attacking. If they weren't expected to enter NATO airspace; why bother?
Read 7 tweets
Aug 21, 2018
🇷🇺 Russian seismic research vessel Akademik Primakov (MMSI:273392760) is certainly looking for something in the Kara Sea at 5kn. (Before you get too excited, it could be mapping the Arctic shelf, to aid in Russian claims to it.)…
h/t @nobit7
🇷🇺 Russian Project 21900M icebreaker Vladivosok (MMSI:273376280) has dropped anchor in the Kara Sea. I guess that's cheaper than burning diesel moving the largest non-nuclear icebreaker in the Russian fleet around...…
🇷🇺 Russian Project 21900M icebreaker Vladivosok (MMSI:273376280) has been conducting (presumably) ice clearing operations off the East coast of... you guessed it... Novaya Zemlya.

...but that doesn't really prove anything; it's an icebreaker after all.…
Read 15 tweets
Jun 11, 2018
Дайвтехносервис (aka Dive Techno Services, Divetechnoservices, etc), a Russian reseller of dive equipment in St. Petersburg, was added to the US Treasury list of sanctions for conducting business with the FSB since 2007.…
The most notable transaction the US Treasury Department wanted to cite regarding this Russian business, and why they are prohibited from doing business with the US, was a $1.5M contract to the FSB to provide ROV(s) in 2011, 7 yrs ago.

That was the best you could come up with?
Read 9 tweets
Jan 16, 2018
I've been trying to figure out what the "Intelligence-Gathering Vessel" was that the @RoyalNavy (infuriatingly) wouldn't name or post pictures of that crossed the English Channel on Christmas Eve. Because of the timing, I strongly suspected it was the Viktor Leonov AGI. #SpyShip
I can now say, with a high degree of confidence, a Russian Navy AGI stopped in Trinidad & Tabago 2018-01-11 to restock, and they have likely left by now. I suspect, but cannot yet confirm, that AGI is the Viktor Leonov|Виктор Леонов, the Vishnya-class intelligence ship. #SpyShip
You may remember the collective freak-out when there was a Russian Navy intelligence gathering vessel off the US East Coast last Feb-Mar. That info was Secret(or higher)-classified Navy intelligence, leaked by the Pentagon, but there was no investigation or pursuit of the leaker.
Read 115 tweets
Sep 13, 2017
🇱🇷 Ocean Glory (IMO 9217682) owned by Russia's favourite arms transporter Kaalbye Shipping, has anchored in intl waters, off Jacksonville FL
There is absolutely nothing suspicious about this, since they ship lots of things for lots of countries. Might even be shipping aid to FL!
There is absolutely no reason to think a bulk carrier associated with a company run by Putin's best cronies would be spying on the US.
Read 12 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!