🇺🇸 #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 🤔
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 #CONZNE
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.