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The Russian Military Despises This Strange Wedge Shaped Spy Ship

When it was launched it looked like nothing else. Its pizza slice-like design made it one of the most stable ships for its size and it has since spawned a whole new class of crazy looking vessels. Yet this clandestine spy ship is most notorious in Russia, whose military absolutely detests its existence. Meet Norway's Marjata, one of the most advanced spy ships in the world. Launched in 1992, the 7,560 ton displacement Marjata, the third Norwegian spy ship to carry that name, has a pretty tough primary mission- to chase around and shadow the Russian Navy's incredibly powerful, Barents and Norwegian Sea based Northern Fleet, through some of the most challenging sea conditions in the world. Her unique 'Ramform' hull was a revelation of sorts in the maritime design world when she was launched. The design is not only an incredibly stable one, which helps when your mission includes packing around delicate listening sensors and ELINT surveillance gear, but it also allows for generous interior volume and it can stay afloat in heavy seas with large portions of its hull well under the waterline. In addition, cargo shifting and exact trimming is much less critical with a Ramform hull design than it is with traditional hull configurations. The ship's wedge shape design also allows for very quiet operation, which is important for monitoring the underwater activities of potentially unfriendly navies. Marjata was designed for efficient operation and carries a crew of about 14 sailors along with 30 intelligence specialists, although her complement can change drastically depending on the mission and surveillance technologies installed aboard. The ship also has a large helicopter pad which can facilitate the switching out of crews during long duration missions. Based normally in Kirkenes, Marjata is most active when the Russian Northern Fleet is as well, constantly shadowing them during large exercises. According to one Russian naval website, the Marjata and her similarly named Norwegian predecessors is so commonly visible during Russian North Sea and arctic naval maneuvers that it has a common nickname, "Masha," and some Russians speculate it is actually crewed by Americans (rough translation):
Probably not in the North is there a ship's officer who would not know who this "Marjata" is. Many old-timers will remember the one old "Masha." Marjata NATO military for many years used the research vessel "Marjata" to monitor military activities , gathering intelligence and military information in the North. Most of the year the ship is in international waters. Crew of "Marjata" is only American personnel . Rare out ships to perform combat training complete without meeting with this lady. Often it comes in the closed areas and interfere with combat exercises, recording parameters of our stations and radio...
More Pics via Gizmodo.

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