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USS RICHARD B. RUSSELL (SSN-687)
Jimmy Carter: Super Spy?

The rumors are that the Navy's newest nuclear sub, the USS Jimmy Carter, has been designed for spy work, with a
"special capability... to tap undersea cables and eavesdrop on the communications passing through them," according
to the AP.

The rumors are right,
Military.com's undersea warfare experts believe. Here's what retired Rear Admiral Hank
McKinney, the former commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's submarine force, had to say:

The Navy has for years carried out special surveillance missions with nuclear submarines. Most of these missions
utlilized attack submarines that were not extensively modified. Specialized communications intercept equipments were
installed in existing spaces on board these submarines. A few have been modified for special oceanographic missions
and capabilities. In the past, these included
USS HALIBUT, USS SEAWOLF, USS RICHARD B. RUSSELL, and USS
PARCHE. Each of these submarines was modified to accommodate these new missions. In the case of USS JIMMY
CARTER, all of the modifications were made before the submarine was delivered to the Navy.
This submarine will
be utilized to conduct many specialized missions, some of which will be routine unclassified oceanographic research
operations which will advance our knowledge of the ocean. Some of the missions will be highly classified missions which
I am unable to comment on.
(emphasis mine)
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