|Dupuy de Lôme, the most advanced SIGINT ship in any |
European Navy today (2015)
Signals intelligence (often abbreviated as SIGINT) is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether communications between people (communications intelligence - abbreviated to COMINT) or from electronic signals not directly used in communication (electronic intelligence - abbreviated to ELINT). The data gathered are typically pertinent to the electronics of an opponent's defense network, especially the electronic parts such as radars, surface-to-air missile systems, aircraft, etc. ELINT can be used to detect ships and aircraft by their radar and other electromagnetic radiation; commanders have to make choices between not using radar, intermittently using it, or using it and expecting to avoid defenses. COMINT, as it was mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is a sub-category of signals intelligence that engages in dealing with messages or voice information derived from the interception of foreign communications. Modern navies use naval vessels with sophisticated equipment for this purpose, the so-called spy ships.
|Elettra of Italian Navy|
|The two sister ships of Polish Navy|
Except these vessels that are presented here, which they have been designed for this and only purpose, almost all modern navies have equipped their major combatants with extensive SIGINT/ELINT gear. For example the majority of warships are equipped with special equipment to perform Electronic Support Measures (ESM) which are really ELINT techniques, but the term is used in the specific context of tactical warfare. ESM give the information needed for Electronic Attack (EA) such as jamming. EA is also called Electronic Counter-Measures. ESM provides information needed for Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM), such as understanding a spoofing or jamming mode so one can change one's radar characteristics to avoid them.
|Orion of Swedish Navy. In November 1985, Orion was rammed by a |
Soviet minesweeper after she got too close to a Soviet naval exercise
|The enormous Monge of French Navy, a missile tracking ships that can also perform as SIGINT|
|The new Marjata of Norway|
|Eger (former Marjata) of Norway|
|European Signals Intelligence ships as of December 2016. High resolution image here.|
|SIGINT collection ships of European Navies in 2016 (updated). For high resolution image click here.|