The Russian Naval vessel "Yantar" received necessary permit to enter the Panama canal on December 8, after being denied entry for a couple of days.
The Northern Fleet's oceanographic naval research vessel was blocked from entering territorial waters of Panama Canal after a US warplane flew over it, reports Russia's Avia.pro.
The Pentagon believes that the Yantar is a reconnaissance vessel which is gathering information on the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN), underwater sensors, and other equipment used by American submarines.
“Today, the oceanographic research vessel Yantar of the Northern Fleet, performing the long sea voyage, passed through the Panama Canal into the Pacific Ocean,” Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement Monday.
The Yantar, part of the Russian Navy since 2015, has made numerous long trips around the globe. Western military experts believe that the reconnaissance vessel may have deployed submersible remote-controlled unmanned vessels or deep-water manned bathyscaphes at the places where it remained stationary, the UAWire report said.
The Yantar is the primary vessel of project 22010 developed by the Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. The ship’s displacement is 5,200 tons, its length is 108.1 meters, and its width is 17.2 meters. Alongside the submersible unmanned vessels, the Yantar might carry the deep-water manned bathyscaphes Rus, Konsul and Mir.