Skip to comments.Iranís replica of a US aircraft carrier puzzles Navy officials
Posted on 03/22/2014 3:01:57 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
MANAMA, Bahrain Iran is building a replica of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier at a shipyard on the Persian Gulf near the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. 5th Fleet officials said.
The mock-up of the aircraft carrier was first noticed last summer, 5th Fleet officials said, but it wasnt until February that they saw the number 68 painted on it the same number of the USS Nimitz, which was deployed in the region last summer.
Its interesting to us that they would be building something like this ... this is a head-scratcher more than anything, said Cmdr Jason Salata, Navy 5th Fleet spokesman. He said the Navy is not particularly concerned about it.
The New York Times first reported on the mysterious vessel on Thursday.
A recent commercial satellite image shows the vessel with similar lines painted on top of it that a real aircraft carrier might have. There also appear to be three aircraft atop the structure.
Officials believe the mock-up is comprised of barges with steel construction to replicate the hull, and superstructure of a carrier. Its about two-thirds the size of an actual Nimitz class carrier, which is about 1,092 feet in length.
Navy officials said they are sure its not a real aircraft carrier, but they are puzzled about Irans intent in replicating such a large American warship.
If its designed for strategic effect, to what effect? Salata said. The New York Times suggested Iran might use it to make a propaganda point, possibly to fire a missile at it as part a training exercise to be broadcast on state-run media.
Other countries, including the United States, have used land runways to simulate carrier operations. China has even built a mock-up of its sole carrier atop a training building near Wuhan, about 400 miles inland from the East China Sea. That facility appears intended to train crews in handling aircraft, logistics and weapons, as well as hangar placements.
The continuing rapprochement between Iran and the United States and its Western allies has been highlighted by the interim nuclear deal reached last November by which Tehran agreed to halt certain nuclear activities in exchange for limited relief from sanctions. Negotiations are continuing on a comprehensive accord that would ensure that Irans civilian nuclear program could not be used for military purposes.
As talks on Irans nuclear program continue next month in Vienna, the political and security situations in the Persian Gulf region remain delicate. Despite the winding down of the war in Afghanistan, U.S. officials have sought in recent months to reassure Gulf allies that the U.S. is fully committed to the region, irking Iranian officials who question Americas motives.
Earlier this month Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticized the U.S. military posture in the Persian Gulf in a meeting with reporters in Tokyo.
We do not believe presence of foreign forces is conducive to security, he said.
This spring, two more U.S. Coastal Patrol ships are expected to homeport at the U.S. naval base in Bahrain, which is in the midst of a $260 million expansion.
The U.S. Navy is not seeking confrontation in the Gulf, said Salata.
We feel that there is a balance of force that we need to do our mission, which Navy officials commonly describes as partnering with allies in the region for maritime security.
Is it really that much of a mystery?
They’re rehearsing to steal it. The problem with putting Airdales in command of carriers is that they never remember to take the keys with them when they park them.
Practice, I’d say.
Practice for what?
Once they get the tailhook welded onto flight 370 they’re going to practice.
Obviously it’s for boarding practice. They’ve got those swarms of little speed boats and somebody over there is having delusions about capturing a US carrier.
Of course it’s for propaganda. A 5 second video clip of a missile exploding it is all they need.
Doesn't make a lot of sense.
The mullahs use as a visual to gyrate their gherkins in jihadist fantasy..
Practice target for their Kilos?
Build it, then test if they can hit it with a missile.
I had a good reason within seconds. They must not be too smart.
My guess also. Practice for an attack.
Wouldn’t any potential boarding party have to run the gauntlet of the screen of accompanying ships that make up a carrier group? That would take a set of extremely huge nads to pull that off.
Well we don't all have your vivid imagination I guess.
hijacking, bombing, underwater mine ops, decoy, etc.
Well, yes, not to mention that the flight deck is about 60 feet up off the water.
I wonder whether they’re building a low-tech carrier, maybe conventionally powered with a limited launch capability.
Just to try stuff out.
Remember they’re starting out. I think maybe they’re using another approach than other competitors.
Just a wild guess is all.
I suspect that the mockup is being used for developing image recognition software and systems for reconaissance satellites and guided missiles.
Hijack a carrier? You can use anything for a bombing target. Not sure what you mean by 'underwater mine ops' but if you mean that they're going to try and figure out how to attach a mine and sink it then they would have to duplicate the strength and structure of a Nimitz class carrier and you don't do that with a couple of barges welded together. Decoy for what, the other Iranian carriers?
You're not going to indulge us with your strategic brilliance and naval know-how, are you?
Right. Their only hope of even getting on board would be to stage an operation against the ship while it’s in port. At sea they’d never even get close.
Same reason USN built the Muroc Maru
Send in the frogmen. Sink it one minute after it’s set afloat!
KENNY BUNK CAN ANSWER THIS QUESTION.
I hope they post the video to youtube. There will only be one take.
Sure. Makes perfect sense.
The armed forces are devolving rapidly
Of course not.
Last time I landed on a US Navy carrier, it did not have a bulls-eye painted in the middle of the flight deck or on either side hull plating.
Iran wants to have its pilots train by making bomb/gun runs on a realistic target.
They just downloaded the plans to a 3D Printer, anyone can do it!
Do I need a /S tag!
Realistic target to dive airplanes into....
You think the kamikaze pilots would have been more effective with more than “one” diving attack to learn from?
Sure, the kamikaze pilots were (almost always) combat pilots (not one-flight rookies) but they had never been dive bombers before.
My boat yard also builds fiberglass Subs....
We call it the "Kilo Class"
Oh yeah, that’s a real puzzler — why would Iran want an exact replica to practice on? Hmm, that’s a head-scratcher alright. And note that the partisan media shilling pollutes “Stars and Stripes”:
> The continuing rapprochement between Iran and the United States and its Western allies has been highlighted by the interim nuclear deal reached last November by which Tehran agreed to halt certain nuclear activities in exchange for limited relief from sanctions.
Thanks Jet Jaguar.