Spy ship


Spy ship

A spy ship is a dedicated ship intended to gather intelligence, usually by means of sophisticated electronic eavesdropping gear. In a wider sense, any ship intended to clandestinely gather information could be considered a spy ship.

Spy ships are usually controlled by a nation's government, due to the high costs and advanced equipment required. They tend to be parts of the nation's navy, though they may also be operated by secret services and masquerade as civilian ships such as fishing trawlers, which could be reasonably expected to remain in a certain area for a long time.

Ships which are used to infiltrate spies or special forces are sometimes also called 'spy ships'. [" [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9807E5DC1331F931A2575AC0A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink Suspected Spy Ship Salvaged] " - "New York Times", Thursday 12 September 2002]

History

Spy ships in the modern sense have been used at least since the early Cold War, and are in use by all major powers. Their uses, in addition to listening in on communications and spy on enemy fleet movements, were to monitor nuclear tests and missile launches (especially of potential ICBMs).

One of the most important functions for both Cold War spy ship fleets, especially in the 1960s, was the gathering of submarine 'signatures' - the patterns of noise that could often identify the specific type of submarine and were thus valuable in anti-submarine warfare. During that era, the USA fielded about 80 vessels, usually classified as 'environmental research' craft, while the Soviets had around 60 ships, often converted trawlers or hydrographic research ships." [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,837783,00.html The Ferret Fleets] " - "Time", Friday 02 February 1968]

In the late 1980s, the Soviet fisheries fleet was known for having equipped many of their thousands of ships with sophisticated SIGINT and ELINT equipment, thus functioning as auxiliary spy ships tracking western naval vessels and electronic communications (though their main function remained commercial fishing). [" [http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/asb80.cfm Moscow's South Pacific Fishing Fleet Is Much More Than It Seems] " - Kim, Byung Ki; The Heritage Foundation, "Asian Studies Backgrounder" No. 80 September 6, 1988.]

Operation

A spy ship usually stays in international waters [" [http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2003/08/16/2003063942 Legislative group says fishermen are spying for Beijing] " - "Taipei Times", Saturday 16 August 2003, Page 3] [" [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950CE6DA1338F930A25755C0A967948260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink Spy Ship Off L.I. Awaits Trident Sub] " - New York Times", Saturday 13 June 1981] (or at least outside of territorial waters), so as to not violate territorial borders. From there, it will use its electronic gear to monitor sea and air traffic, radio and radar frequencies and also try to intercept and decrypt coded radio or phone communications. This is mostly done via passive means such as radio receivers or passive sonar. Sometimes however, active measures such as radar or sonar may also be used to detect the movement of aircraft, missiles, ships or other vehicles or troops. [" [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E01E6D91338F937A25755C0A967948260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink Soviet Spy Ship Waiting To Observe Trident Test] " - "New York Times", Sunday 14 June 1981] [" [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/310928.stm Don't arm Serbs, US warns] " - BBC, Saturday 03 April 1999] However, this risks revealing the ship's purpose.

As it is located much closer to the surveilled area than a fixed installation (given a close-by shoreline), the monitoring is usually much more efficient and in some respects better than even that of spy satellites.

Tracking vessels for space missions / control stations for satellites / spy satellites also have some of the capabilities of spy ships, and as they are controlled by their national governments, it can be considered reasonable that they are intermittently used for similar purposes, such as tracking enemy missile tests.

ee also

*Technical research ship (a class of US spy ships of the early Cold War)
*Famous examples
**USS Liberty
**USS Pueblo

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • spy ship — spy ship, a ship operating under false pretenses in foreign waters for the purpose of making secret reconnaissance by means of electronic equipment: »Two…spy ships, posing as trawlers, operating off Australia (Sunday Times) …   Useful english dictionary

  • SPY — may refer to: * SPY (spiders), ticker symbol for Standard Poor s Depositary Receipts * SPY (magazine), a satirical monthly, trademarked all caps * SPY (Ivory Coast), airport code for San Pédro, Côte d Ivoire * SPY (Ship Planning Yard), a U.S.… …   Wikipedia

  • Spy Fox in "Dry Cereal" — Infobox VG title = Spy Fox in Dry Cereal developer = Humongous Entertainment publisher = Atari (PC) Majesco (Wii) designer = engine = SCUMM released = 1997 (Original) 2008 (Rerelease) Q3 2008 (Wii) genre = Adventure modes = Single player ratings …   Wikipedia

  • SPY-1 — Eine der vier flachen AN/SPY 1 Antennen Das AN/SPY 1 ist ein seegestütztes Multifunktionsradar des US Konzerns Lockheed Martin. Es befindet sich seit seiner Einführung 1983 auf den Kreuzern der Ticonderoga Klasse im Dienst unterschiedlicher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spy Fiction (video game) — Infobox VG title = Spy Fiction developer = Access Games publisher = flagicon|Japan flagicon|Hong Kong flagicon|Macau Access Games flagicon|Canada flagicon|United States Sammy Studios flagicon|European Union Sega Europe designer = engine =… …   Wikipedia

  • Technical research ship — Technical research ships were used by the U.S. Navy during the 1960s to gather intelligence by monitoring the electronic communications of nations in various parts of the world. At the time these ships were active, the mission of the ships was… …   Wikipedia

  • Duquesne Spy Ring — The 33 convicted members of the Duquesne spy ring (FBI print). The Duquesne Spy Ring is the largest espionage case in United States history that ended in convictions. A total of thirty three members of a German espionage network headed by… …   Wikipedia

  • AN/SPY-1 — Infobox Radar name = AN/SPY 1 caption = The AN/SPY 1 radar antennas can be seen on the front and starboard side of the superstructure of USS Lake Erie (CG 70). country = United States introdate = 1973 number = type = 3D Air search frequency = S… …   Wikipedia

  • Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy — ST episode name = Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy The Doctor experiences daydreams series = VOY ep num = 124| prod num = 224 date = October 13, 1999 writer = Bill Vallely Joe Menosky director = John Bruno guest = Jay Legget as Phlox Googy Gress as… …   Wikipedia

  • Littoral combat ship — Эта статья или часть статьи содержит информацию об ожидаемых событиях. Здесь описываются события, которые ещё не произошли …   Википедия


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.