The Russian Navy has officially commissioned the intelligence ship Ivan Khurs at a ceremony in Saint Petersburg. The ceremony took place on 25 June, and Ivan Khurs is expected to leave the Baltic Sea in the near future. That reports the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Ivan Khurs is a rather large ship. It is 95 meters long, 16 meters wide, and has a displacement of 4,000 tons. The crew consists of 131 persons.
The ship will join the Black Sea Fleet which has missed a signals intelligence ship since the smaller Liman sank last year after a collision with a merchant ship. The commander in chief of the navy, admiral Vladimir Korolyov, did not personally participate in the ceremony, but he sent a written message:
“The Black Sea Fleet is growing. The next ship to join will be the signals intelligence ship Ivan Khurs. In August or September, the frigate Admiral Makarov will also arrive to its new home port, the hero city of Sevastopol.”
Signals intelligence ships fundamentally have three purposes: Passive collection of intelligence, offensive electronic warfare, and power projection. Russia has an active doctrine for the use of such ships. They will often sail to key areas just outside the territorial waters of other states and linger around for long periods of time. That sounds insanely boring for the crew, but as a tool for political signaling it is cheap and powerful.
Ivan Khurs is the second ship in the class, which in Russia is called the project 18280. The first ship, Yuri Ivanov, was commissioned in 2014 and serves in the Northern Fleet.